Meta Links US Military to Social Media Influence Campaigns • The Register

In its latest quarterly threat report, Meta said it detected and disrupted US-originated influence operations, and is calling out those it believes responsible: the American military.

Meta said it caught three major covert influence operations on its platforms in the third quarter of the year, the first of which originated in the United States.

Meta previously reported on clandestine influence operations conducted by the US in August, but gave nothing on its observations at the time, other than saying they were from the country.

Now, however, the social media giant is getting more specific. “Although the individuals behind this operation attempted to disguise their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the US military,” Meta said in the report [PDF].

The operators of the network also apparently posted “priority during US business hours (EST) and not during working hours in the target countries”. Obviously, they’ve never heard of scheduled posts.

A total of 39 Facebook accounts, 16 Pages, two groups and 26 Instagram accounts related to the US military operation have been terminated. The scope of the operation seemed limited.

The operators behind the campaign, which involved impersonating locals in countries like Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, garnered around 22,000 followers on Facebook and 400 people across the two groups.

“The majority of posts from this operation had little to no engagement from authentic communities,” Meta said. ® Meta Links US Military to Social Media Influence Campaigns • The Register

Rick Schindler

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