Facebook Wipes Out MEK Troll Farm

Facebook's most nocturnal moderation efforts against MEK

In it’s one of most nocturnal moderation efforts, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has wiped out a troll farm. Situated in Albania, the troll farm was circulating misinformation and was creating deepfake images. According to CIB report, the troll’s members used to target the Iranian public. It was also reported that they had links with a militant group, namely Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), with several thousand members.

Facebook

Circulating Misinformation
Having been exiled to Albania in 1980, MEK used to create fake accounts to propagate against Iran’s government. The group used to leverage artificial intelligence to create deepfake images. By using deepfakes, generative adversarial networks (GAN) pose as investigative journalists and autonomous news outlets.
These accounts were operated from Albania. The operators used to share technical infrastructure routinely. A single operator used to run corpus accounts, and corpus operators were also able to operate the same account.
However, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and MEK have rejected Facebook’s claims. They refuted the company’s claims of having a troll farm. According to MEK, the group never created fake accounts on the platform.

According to Facebook, MEK’s activities in social media witnessed a surge in 2017 & 2020. However, they didn’t succeed in their mission of reaching out to the masses. Thanks to FireEye’s research on Spain & El Salvador’s GAN network, Facebook wiped out accounts & pages. Through these accounts, information related to the mayoral election was published. Moreover, two more networks were also removed that used to create deepfake images.

The Report
In its Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) report released this week, Facebook mentioned its efforts to decrease inauthentic activities across its network. According to the company, 14 CIB operations were interrupted in several countries that include Egypt, Israel, Argentina, Mexico, & Georgia, in March. More than 1,100 accounts, 34 groups, & 255 pages were eliminated.

In the previous month, Facebook detected and curbed cyber attackers of Chinese origin distributing malware through Facebook. These cyber attackers used to target journalists & activists through fake profiles.

By Kyle Landeck – Journaltranscript.com

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