Facebook removes thousands of fake, pro-Trump accounts

Facebook and Twitter have moved to dismantle thousands of fake accounts linked to Epoch Times, a pro-Trump news organisation known for releasing misleading information. These accounts were said to be operated using Artificial Intelligence and linked to individuals in Vietnam, despite claiming to be US citizens.

Epoch Times, a pro-Trump conspiracy organisation, was banned from Facebook in August despite spending $1.5 million in Facebook ads. Their massive expenditure on pro-Trump advertisement on Facebook was second only to Trump’s own campaign.

Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, told NBC News that the company observed what it believed to be “a US-based media company leveraging foreign actors posing as Americans to push political content.”

“We’ve seen it a lot with state actors in the past,” Gleicher told the outlet.

The accounts pushed “anti-impeachment” and “pro-Trump” messages with AI-generated faces atop their profiles, which Gleicher said could be detected by the site’s automatic monitoring for fake accounts.

Meanwhile Stephen Gregory, the publisher of The Epoch Times’ US editions, said in a statement posted online that the media group had no connection to the fake network, and he blamed some former employees.

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