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Facebook Removes Network Associated With Falun Gong Propaganda

October 14th, 2020 06:38

In its Coor­di­nat­ed Inau­then­tic Behav­ior (CIB) Report from July, Face­book announced that it had removed a huge net­work of real and fake accounts asso­ci­at­ed with the Falun Gong move­ment over vio­la­tions against its for­eign inter­fer­ence pol­i­cy. Oper­at­ed from many regions around the world, the net­work sought to spread anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pro­pa­gan­da and pro-Trump con­spir­a­cy the­o­riesAccord­ing to the report:

We removed 303 Face­book accounts, 181 Pages, 44 Groups and 31 Insta­gramaccounts for vio­lat­ing our pol­i­cy against​​for­eign interference​ which iscoor­di­nat­ed inau­then­tic behavior​ on behalf of a for­eign enti­ty. […]

The peo­ple behind this activ­i­ty post­ed about glob­al news and events includ­ing geopol­i­tics and polit­i­cal fig­ures, the Hong Kong protests, the US administration’s poli­cies towards Chi­na, the Falun Gong move­ment, crit­i­cism of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, the ongo­ing US protests and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries about who is behind them. They also post­ed about the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic.​ Some of the con­tent post­ed by this net­work had already been tak­en down for​​Com­mu­ni­ty Standards​ vio­la­tions includ­ing health-relat­ed mis­in­for­ma­tion. The peo­ple behind this activ­i­ty also fre­quent­ly shared videos and images of ani­mals, chil­dren and nature, as well as con­tent by ​the Sound of Hope, the Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty TV (NTD). This net­work ​showed some links to on-plat­form activ­i­ty by Epoch MediaGroup and NTD.

Read the rest here.

Face­book claimed the pro­pa­gan­da net­work was run by Truth Media, a dig­i­tal media out­let which it banned from its plat­forms as a result of the inves­ti­ga­tion. Truth Media has been linked to The Epoch Times, a con­tro­ver­sial far-right Eng­lish news­pa­per laden with mis­in­for­ma­tion that is oper­at­ed by Falun Gong, a Chi­nese reli­gious com­mu­ni­ty with the stat­ed goal to take down China’s gov­ern­ment. In August 2019, The Epoch Times had already been banned from buy­ing ads on Face­book, and in Decem­ber 2019, Face­book had removed hun­dreds of fake accounts asso­ci­at­ed with Epoch Times for the first time. Accord­ing to Face­book, the Truth Media net­work spent at least  $216,000 for Face­book ads and reached around two mil­lion accounts on its net­works.   

For a detailed study on the Truth Media pro­pa­gan­da net­work, go here.

The GIOR reported.…