Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has published its “December 2021 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report,” covering influence operations on its social media platforms. According to the report:
December 2021: Since 2017, we’ve reported on over 150 influence operations with details on each network takedown so that people know about the threats we see — whether they come from nation states, commercial firms or unattributed groups. Information sharing enabled our teams, investigative journalists, government officials and industry peers to better understand and expose internet-wide security risks, including ahead of critical elections. In 2021, we removed 52 networks that engaged in coordinated efforts to manipulate or corrupt public debate for a strategic goal, while relying centrally on fake accounts to mislead people about who’s behind them. They came from 34 countries, including Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Middle East and Africa.\
Read the rest here.
The report includes information about different influence operations removed from the platform, including one operating from Mexico and targeting other Latin American countries and a Turkish operation targeting Libya, which Meta linked to the Muslim Brotherhood’s affiliated Libyan Justice and Construction Party.
The Meta report also identified an Iranian operation that primarily targeted Scotland and promoted Scottish independence:
The people behind this activity relied on fake accounts — some of which were detected and disabled by our automated systems — to pose as locals in England and Scotland, like and post political content and try to contact policymakers and other people. This operation took place primarily on Instagram. Some of the accounts had profile pictures likely generated using artificial intelligence techniques like generative adversarial networks (GAN). Others used photos of celebrities and media personalities from the UK and Iraq. This network posted photos and memes in English about current events in the UK, including supportive commentary about Scottish independence and criticism of the UK government. These accounts also posted about hobbies, football and the UK cities they claimed to be based in, likely to make these fictitious personas appear more authentic. The individuals behind this activity organized their content around common hashtags promoting Scottish independence, at times misspelling them.