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Meta Takes Down Network With Chinese Origins

The Chinese-origin ‘influence operation’ ran across multiple social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and two Czech petition platforms

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Meta on Tuesday said that it took down a small network that originated in China. The network targeted the US, the Czech Republic and to a lesser extent, Chinese- and French-speaking audiences around the world.

This Chinese-origin ‘influence operation’ came in four separate and short efforts. These focused on a particular audience at different times between the Fall of 2021 and mid-September 2022.

In the US, the operation targeted people on both sides of the political spectrum, while in Czech Republic, this activity was primarily anti-government, criticising the state’s support of Ukraine in the war with Russia and its impact on the Czech economy, using the criticism to caution against antagonizing China.

The operation maintained a cluster of accounts — around half a dozen each — posted content at low volumes during working hours in China rather than when their target audiences would typically be awake.

“Our automated systems took down a number of accounts and Facebook Pages for various Community Standards violations, including impersonation and inauthenticity”, said Meta in a statement.

This operation ran across multiple social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and two Czech petition platforms.

This was the first Chinese network Meta disrupted that focused on US domestic politics ahead of the midterm elections, as well as Czech Republic’s foreign policy toward China and Ukraine.

Previously, Meta had thwarted Chinese influence operations that typically focused on criticising the US to international audiences, rather than primarily targeting domestic audiences in the US.

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Meta Platforms chinese hackers