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Meta Platforms on Tuesday disclosed it took steps to dismantle two covert influence operations originating from China and Russia for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB) so as to manipulate public debate.

While the Chinese operation sets its sights on the U.S. and the Czech Republic, the Russian network primarily targeted Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine and the U.K. with themes surrounding the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“The largest and most complex Russian operation we’ve disrupted since the war in Ukraine began, it ran a sprawling network of over 60 websites impersonating news organizations, as well as accounts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Telegram, Twitter, Change.org and Avaaz, and even LiveJournal,” the social media behemoth¬†said.

The sophisticated Russian activity, which commenced in May 2022, impersonated mainstream European news outlets like Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and Bild, not to mention build credibility by creating fake accounts across several platforms to amplify pro-Russian narratives.

The campaign demanded both technical and linguistic investment, as it entailed the use of spoofed websites that churned out content in over half-a-dozen languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Ukrainian. In some instances, the content was propagated by Russian embassy accounts.

images from Hacker News