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Meta cracks down on Israeli marketing company running hundreds of fake Facebook accounts

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Meta (formerly the Facebook company) has clamped down on an Israeli marketing firm running hundreds of fake Facebook accounts targeting America and Canada.

The company stated in its most recent report on coordinated inauthentic behavior that the scam posted about the Israel-Hamas conflict and targeted individuals in the US and Canada.

The total number of Facebook accounts, pages, Instagram accounts, and one group linked to the project was 510, including phony and previously compromised accounts, according to Meta’s researchers.

In a statement, Meta said the accounts posed as “Jewish students, African Americans, and ‘concerned’ citizens” and shared posts that praised Israel’s military actions and criticized the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and college protests. They also shared Islamaphobic comments in Canada, saying that “radical Islam poses a threat to liberal values in Canada.”

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Meta’s researchers said the campaign was linked to STOIC, a “a political marketing and business intelligence firm” based in Israel, though they didn’t speculate on the motives behind it. STOIC was also active on X and YouTube and ran websites “focused on the Israel-Hamas war and Middle Eastern politics.”

In a related development, Meta has declared the deletion of hundreds of Facebook profiles linked to six clandestine influence programs from various nations, such as China, Iran, and Israel.

The tech giant said that these covert operations disseminated false information and influenced public opinion by using content produced by artificial intelligence.

As per the most recent quarterly adversarial threat report from Meta, which was made public on Wednesday, the objective of these operations was to influence political conversations and create a false impression of widespread endorsement for specific opinions.

A few of the ads supported political interpretations of current affairs, including content that supported Israel and came from Iranian and Israeli sources.

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