Meta announced on Thursday, November 30 that it had deleted several accounts and pages related to the Russian disinformation operation, which were specifically aimed at the United States and France. In its quarterly report on disinformation campaigns identified by Instagram and Facebook teams, the company says it has identified disinformation sites, English- and French-speaking, that mainly publish “critical commentary on transgender rights and human rights in the West and particularly in the United States and France.” These sites “also criticize Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron” and praises Russia's activities in West Africa, denigrating France's presence in the region.
According to Meta's findings, a dozen Facebook and Instagram pages linked to these fake sites have failed to attract a significant audience, totaling a few thousand subscribers. However, the company notes that their messages were promoted by the accounts of Russian diplomatic missions on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They also note that their investigation “established contacts with RT employees”A Russian public media group has banned broadcasting in the European Union since the invasion of Ukraine, without providing further details.
The methods of this operation resemble those of the “Doppelgänger”, but it is a separate group depending on the company. ” Doppelgänger, whose existence Meta discovered a year ago, is considered by the company and many observers to be one of the most aggressive disinformation campaigns underway. Her actions were condemned by the French government in June, and despite deleting several of her accounts on many platforms, she continues to create fake websites and fake profiles.
In early November, accounts and websites linked to the operation were used to try to stir up tension in French society around the Star of David stencils affixed to walls in several Paris districts. These marks are considered by French investigators to be part of a destabilization campaign launched by Russian intelligence services.
“As we learned to block accounts created by this group more and more quickly, they changed their behaviornoted Met safety manager Nathanael Gleicher at a press conference on Wednesday. [Cette opération] now relies heavily on external sites [contrôlés par “Doppelgänger”] which we cannot prevent – it is a kind of loophole that takes advantage of the slowness of the global domain name management system. »
Correction on November 30 at 3:15 p.m.: fixed a bug about the origin of the disinformation network.
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