© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Facebook bans accounts owned by Israeli firm targeting Nigeria, other African countries
About 265 accounts were shut down by Facebook for ‘coordinated inauthentic’ accounts that originated in Isreali focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in the Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy for Facebook on Thursday through a statement on the Facebook newsroom revealed the people behind this network used fake accounts to run page, disseminating contents and artificially increasing engagement.
“They also represented themselves as locals, including local news organizations, and published allegedly leaked information about politicians.
“The Page administrators and account owners frequently posted about political news, including topics like elections in various countries, candidate views and criticism of political opponents,” he said
Gleicher said an internal investigation revealed that the individuals behind this network are linked to Isreali Company Archimedes Group.
“The people behind the phantom accounts spent around $812,000 (£634,941) for adverts between December 2012 and April 2019, Facebook said, and these were paid for in Brazilian reais, Israeli shekel and US dollars,” he said.
However, Gleicher said that the organization and all its subsidiaries are now banned from Facebook, and it has been issued a cease and desist letter.
It is yet to be verified if the company is connected to Isreali NSO that is alleged to be the brains behind the spyware that facilitated the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Washington Post journalist killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.