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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Iran-based Social Media Scheme Impersonated Press


7Dnews London

Wed, 29 May 2019 15:27 GMT

Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday May 28th said they had shuttered accounts used in an Iran-based social media campaign to sway public opinion by impersonating reporters, politicians and others.

Facebook removed 51 accounts, 36 pages and seven groups at the leading online social network and another three accounts from Instagram after investigating a tip from internet security firm FireEye, according to head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher, AFP has reported.

Twitter told AFP that it had removed a network of 2,800 inauthentic accounts originating in Iran at the beginning of May, but was not privy to the FireEye findings made public on Tuesday.

"Our investigations into these accounts are ongoing," a Twitter spokesperson told AFP, declining to discuss details until the analysis was finished.

A network of English-language social media accounts misrepresenting who was behind them was evidently orchestrated to promote Iranian political interests, according to California-based FireEye.

"In addition to utilising fake American personas that espoused both progressive and conservative political stances, some accounts impersonated real American individuals, including a handful of Republican political candidates that ran for House of Representatives seats in 2018," FireEye said in a blog post.

Middle East US & Canada