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Facebook removes Russian network that targeted influencers to peddle anti-vax messages

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Facebook said on Tuesday it had removed a network of accounts from Russia that it linked to a marketing firm which aimed to enlist influencers to push anti-vaccine content about the COVID-19 jabs.

The social media company said it had banned accounts connected to Fazze, a subsidiary of UK-registered marketing firm AdNow, which primarily conducted its operations from Russia, for violating its policy against foreign interference. Facebook said the campaign used its platforms primarily to target audiences in India, Latin America and, to a smaller extent, the United States.

The company’s investigators called the campaign a “disinformation laundromat,” creating misleading articles and petitions on forums like Reddit, Medium and Change.org, and using fake accounts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to amplify the content.

 Facebook said while the majority of the campaign fell flat, the crux of it appeared to be engaging with paid influencers and these posts attracted “some limited attention.”

False claims and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and its vaccines have proliferated on social media sites in recent months.

via Reuters