Meta caught an Israeli marketing firm running hundreds of fake Facebook accounts

Meta caught an Israeli marketing firm using fake Facebook accounts to run an influence campaign on its platform, the company said in its report. final report on coordinated uncertain behavior. The scheme targeted people in the US and Canada and posted posts about the Israel-Hamas war.

In total, Meta’s researchers discovered 510 Facebook accounts, 11 pages, 32 Instagram accounts and a group associated with the effort, including fake and previously hacked accounts. The accounts posed as “Jewish students, African-Americans and ‘concerned’ citizens” and shared posts praising Israel’s military actions, criticizing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the college protests. They have also made Islamophobic comments in Canada, saying that “radical Islam poses a threat to liberal values ​​in Canada.”

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

According to Meta, the campaign was discovered before it had built a large audience, and many of the fake accounts were disabled by the company’s automated systems. The accounts had about 500 followers on Facebook and about 2000 followers on Instagram.

The report also notes that the people behind the accounts used generative artificial intelligence tools to write their comments on the pages of politicians, media outlets and other public figures. met with critical responses from original users who called them propaganda,” David Agranovich, Meta’s director of threat prevention policy, said during a briefing with reporters. “So far, we haven’t seen a new Gen AI-based tactic that will hinder our ability to disrupt an adversary. there are networks behind them.”

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