Meta has discovered and terminated accounts running a troll farm in Malaysia with links to the Royal Malaysia Police.
According to Meta and its Quarterly Adversarial Threat Report, the company has terminated 596 Facebook accounts, 180 Pages, 11 Groups and 72 Instagram accounts for breaching its ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’ (CIB) policy.
What is CIB? According to Meta, CIB is:
Coordinated efforts to manipulate public debate for a strategic goal, in which fake accounts are central to the operation.
In each case, people coordinate with one another and use
fake accounts to mislead others about who they are and what they are doing.
Meta says these accounts were originated from Malaysia and targeting Malaysians. The people behind these accounts ran a ‘troll farm’, intended to corrupt or manipulate public discourse by using fake accounts and misleading people about who is behind them.
They also posted memes in Malay in support of the current government coalition, with claims of corruption among its critics.
According to Meta, they discovered this network after looking at data on a small piece of this activity that was previously thought to have originated in China by Clemson University researchers.
Their investigation discovered connections to the Royal Malaysia Police despite the fact that those responsible for it tried to hide their identities and coordination
These individuals have amassed around 446,000 followers across all the accounts they handled and they spent around US$6,000 on Facebook and Instagram advertisements, paid for primarily in Ringgit.