Meta published a report on Wednesday announcing that it had deleted 41 accounts and five Facebook groups, as well as four Instagram accounts for violating its “unauthorized coordinated behavior” policy.
False profiles were used to criticize the behavior of the Polish authorities, including spreading allegations that Polish border guards used force and intimidation against migrants, the company owned by Mark Zuckerberg said in the report.
“These fictitious people have published criticism of Poland in English, Polish and Kurdish, including photos and videos of Polish border guards who allegedly violated migrants’ rights, and compared Poland’s treatment of migrants with that of other countries.” mentions the report published by Meta.
“Although the people behind these messages tried to hide their identities and coordination, our investigations revealed links to the KGB in Belarus,” the Meta report said.
The Belarussian intelligence could not be reached for comment on the matter.
Facebook is under global pressure from regulators, lawmakers and employees to fight a series of abuses allegedly committed on this social networking platform. Facebook told Reuters in September that it was more aggressive in closing coordinated groups of real user accounts that engage in harmful activities on its platform, including attempts to influence elections in certain countries.
EU countries have accused Belarus of creating a migrant crisis on the eastern bloc’s border, encouraging thousands of people in the Middle East and Africa to try to cross into Poland and Lithuania in retaliation for Western sanctions on Minsk.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko denies doing so and blames the crisis on the European Union.
According to the report prepared by Meta, the company also removed, separately, 31 Facebook accounts, but also four groups and four Instagram accounts that were believed to have come from Poland and targeted an audience from Belarus and Iraq.
The report did not link the accounts to the Polish state, but said they were intended to discourage migrants from trying to reach the European Union.
“These fictitious people claimed that they shared their own negative experiences of trying to get from Belarus to Poland and posted about the weight of migrants’ lives in Europe. They also posted on Poland’s strict anti-immigration policies and Poland’s neo-Nazi activity against migrants, “the Meta report concluded.
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