Facebook has cracked down on a Russian misinformation operation that sought to discredit the Austrogeneca and Pfizer / Bioentech Kovid-19 vaccines.
“False information is not always subtle,” Ben Nimmo, director of Facebook’s cybersecurity services, told a news conference Tuesday.
The California group is regularly accused of contributing to the massive spread of misinformation. Last month, US President Joe Biden predicted that Facebook and other platforms were “killing” people by broadcasting fake news about the Kovid vaccine.
“This campaign worked like a laundromat,” the social media giant said. Faz, a British communications company, is responsible for spreading misleading articles and petitions on various forums and networks (Reddit, Medium, Change.org, Facebook, Instagram …) through fake profiles, but as much as possible through influencers.
This accelerated the recognition of the operation: in May, several French and German influencers, active in the field of health and science, rejected the offers they received to denigrate the Pfizer vaccine against payment.
“Incredible. The London agency address that contacted me was fake. They never had a campus there, it’s a cosmetic laser center! All employees have dark LinkedIn profiles … these have been disappearing since this morning. Everyone has worked in Russia before,” he told his YouTube channel on 1.17. Leo Grossett, who is popular with science with millions of subscribers, said.
In the end, Facebook said most of the content posted on Instagram – mainly targeting India and Latin America – was “no likes”. “It fell flat,” Ben Nimmo said.
Faz Agency is now banned from the platform. Nathanie Gleacher, director of Facebook Security Regulations, said: “This is a devastating campaign, but the process is sophisticated.
“There is spam, influencers, document piracy. (…) so it is more difficult for a single platform to fully understand this kind of propaganda,” he said, calling on all civil society (academics, journalists, officials) to mobilize at the front line. .
Facebook has been promoting its efforts against misinformation for years.
On July 19, Joe Biden returned to his strong words: “Facebook does not kill people,” denouncing misinformation spread by users, which “harms their listeners and kills people.”