REVEALED: Why Facebook, Instagram Removed Accounts From Nigeria, Egypt, UAE

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Facebook has removed several pages, groups and accounts on its platforms from the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, citing “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” aimed at misleading social media users.

The tech giant said it removed a total of 443 Facebook and 125 Instagram accounts, as well as 200 pages and 76 groups originating in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Nigeria and Indonesia.

“We removed multiple Pages, Groups and accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook, wrote in a post dated Thursday. “We found three separate operations: one of which originated in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Nigeria, and the other two in Indonesia and Egypt.”

Those operations created “networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were, and what they were doing,”  Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy said in the statement.

The fake accounts “typically posted about domestic news and political topics including content in support of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

Social media firms such as Facebook and Twitter face increasing scrutiny by governments outside the United States.

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