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Facebook deletes hundreds of Iran accounts

Published: February 2, 2019
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Facebook has deleted hundreds of fake accounts, groups and pages which it claims are linked to Iran.

The head of Facebook’s cyber-security department, Tanil Glitscher, said in a letter earlier this week that the accounts were “engaging in false and covert activity on Facebook and Instagram,” which is owned by the social media giant. These accounts specifically targeted people around the world, especially in the Middle East and South Asia, Glitscher added.

The company added that the content of these accounts and pages was related to issues such as the Israel-Palestine conflict, as well as the wars in Syria and Yemen. In some cases, the accounts’ content acted as “reorientation of the content of the Iranian government media”.

However, Facebook stressed that it had deleted the accounts because of their activities, rather than the content they were publishing. Glitscher explained that “we [Facebook] do not want our services to be used to manipulate people,” stressing that Facebook is working tirelessly to discover and prevent such activities.

About 365 accounts were deleted, along with 262 pages and 162 Instagram accounts, some of which have been active since 2010. About two million users subscribed to at least one of the deleted Facebook pages, while around 240,000 Instagram users followed one of the accounts removed.

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