Home Meta takes down Chinese Facebook account posing as US military families

Meta takes down Chinese Facebook account posing as US military families

Meta has removed several Facebook accounts that posed as US military families.

The fake accounts on Facebook and Instagram were aimed at US audiences and were all located in China, according to Meta’s security researchers.

Meta’s report stated that accounts mainly posted about ‘military themes’, including US air carriers; as well as critiquing the ‘US foreign policy towards Taiwan and Israel and its support os Ukraine’.

The group responsible also held accounts on YouTube and Medium and shared a petition online that claimed to be written by Americans – which was critical of the US support for Taiwan.

The Meta security team traced the groups to China, however stated that they were not tied to one enclave or group.

The breakdown of the accounts was somewhat small:

  • 33 Facebook accounts
  • 4 Instagram profiles
  • 6 pages and groups on Facebook

Meta spots rise in China-based influence on Facebook

As reported in engadget, Meta’s global threat intelligence lead, Ben Nimmo said:

“The greatest change in the threat landscape has been this emergence of Chinese influence operations.”

He also pointed out, Meta has taken down 10 CIB (Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior) Networks that were based in China since 2017. However, six of those 10 came in the last year. Last year, Meta located and shut down a large network comprised of thousands of fake accounts that sought to spread pro-China propaganda across Meta’s platforms.

Thus far, the groups spreading these messages have been unsuccessful in their goals of spreading pro-China and anti-US sentiment. The latest network was seized after only reaching 3000 Facebook accounts; whereas the Instagram accounts held zero followers prior to being shut down, Meta alleges.

However, given the looming 2024 US election Meta anticipates that the creation of these accounts will continue. With a Meta report warning of this prediction:

“Our threat research shows that, historically, the main way that CIB networks get through to authentic communities is when they manage to co-opt real people — politicians, journalists or influencers — and tap into their audiences,”

“Reputable opinion-makers represent an attractive target and should exercise caution before amplifying information from unverified sources, particularly ahead of major elections.”

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