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Meta Says the US Military Participated in Fake Social Media Accounts on Facebook

Meta says fake Facebook and Instagram profiles were used to spread pro-US propaganda to cluster areas in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.


owner, Meta, says that the U.S. Military was involved in dozens of fake accounts, pages, and groups on the social network, as well as 25 accounts. Each of these accounts and pages would push pro-U.S. propaganda while not revealing the true source.

In a report published yesterday, Meta says the campaign was running for over a decade. After the first exposure in August, the Pentagon mandated an audit into how the military conducts false information warfare.

Meta's Q3 Adversarial Threat Report shows more evidence of the U.S. military playing a major role in the operation. The goal was to target users in Central Asia and the Middle East with pro-US information.

This operation was first uncovered in August by the Stanford Internet Observatory and firm Graphika. That initial report called the scheme “the most extensive case of covert pro-Western [information operations] on social media to be reviewed and analyzed by open-source researchers to date.”

Meta says that the account holders were purposely hiding their identification and locations:

“Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the U.S. military,” Meta wrote in its latest Quarterly Adversarial Threat Report.


During the operation, posts on Facebook and Instagram would focus on cluster areas, such as Iran, the Middle East, or North Africa. These clusters would post on specific positive themes, such as sports and culture in the United States. They would also highlight how cooperating with the US was helping the nation, while also criticizing countries like , China, and Iran.

While the operation was in place for over a decade, it does not seem to have been a success:

“The majority of this operation's posts had little to no engagement from authentic communities,” Meta noted.

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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