October 2020 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report


We’re constantly working to find and stop coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate across our apps.

The Purpose of This Report

Over the past three years, we’ve shared our findings about coordinated inauthentic behavior we detect and remove from our platforms. As part of our regular CIB reports, we’re sharing information about all networks we take down over the course of a month to make it easier for people to see progress we’re making in one place.

What is CIB?

We view CIB as coordinated efforts to manipulate public debate for a strategic goal where fake accounts are central to the operation. There are two tiers of these activities that we work to stop: 1) coordinated inauthentic behavior in the context of domestic, non-government campaigns and 2) coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government actor.

Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB)

When we find domestic, non-government campaigns that include groups of accounts and Pages seeking to mislead people about who they are and what they are doing while relying on fake accounts, we remove both inauthentic and authentic accounts, Pages and Groups directly involved in this activity.

Foreign or Government Interference (FGI)

If we find any instances of CIB conducted on behalf of a government entity or by a foreign actor, we apply the broadest enforcement measures including the removal of every on-platform property connected to the operation itself and the people and organizations behind it.

Continuous Enforcement

We monitor for efforts to re-establish a presence on Facebook by networks we previously removed. Using both automated and manual detection, we continuously remove accounts and Pages connected to networks we took down in the past.

Summary of October 2020 Findings

Our teams continue to focus on finding and removing deceptive campaigns around the world — whether they are foreign or domestic. In October, we removed 14 networks of accounts, Pages and Groups. Eight of them — from Georgia, Myanmar, Ukraine and Azerbaijan — targeted domestic audiences in their own countries, and six networks — from Iran, Egypt, the US and Mexico — focused on people outside of their countries. We have shared information about our findings with law enforcement, policymakers and industry partners.

We are making progress rooting out this abuse, but as we’ve said before, it’s an ongoing effort. We’re committed to continually improving to stay ahead. That means building better technology, hiring more people and working closely with law enforcement, security experts and other companies.

  • Total number of Facebook accounts removed: 1,196
  • Total number of Instagram accounts removed: 994
  • Total number of Pages removed: 7,947
  • Total number of Groups removed: 110

Networks Removed in October 2020:

  1. NEW – Iran: We removed 12 Facebook accounts, two Pages and 307 Instagram accounts linked to individuals associated with EITRC, a Tehran-based IT company. This activity originated in Iran and targeted primarily Israel, and also Iraq. This network was early in its audience building when we removed it. We found this activity as part of our investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region.
  2. NEW – Iran, Afghanistan: We removed 33 Facebook accounts, 11 Pages, six Groups and 47 Instagram accounts operated by individuals in Iran and Afghanistan. They targeted Farsi/Dari-speaking audiences primarily in Afghanistan. We found this network as part of our internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region.
  3. NEW – Egypt, Turkey and Morocco: We removed 31 Facebook accounts, 25 Pages and two Instagram accounts operated by individuals in Egypt, Turkey and Morocco associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. They targeted Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Somalia and Saudi Arabia. We found this network as part of our internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region.
  4. NEW – Georgia: We removed 50 Facebook accounts, 49 Pages, four Groups, eight Events and 19 Instagram accounts linked to Alt-Info, a media entity in Georgia. This activity originated in the country of Georgia and targeted domestic audiences in Georgia. Alt-Info is now banned from Facebook. We found this network as part of our investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region. Our assessment benefited from public reporting by International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), a non-profit in Georgia.
  5. NEW – Georgia: We removed 54 Facebook accounts, 14 Pages, two Groups and 21 Instagram accounts linked to two political parties in Georgia — Alliance of Patriots and Georgian Choice. This activity originated in the country of Georgia and targeted domestic audiences in Georgia. We found this network after reviewing information about some of its activity publicly reported by International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), a non-profit in Georgia.
  6. NEW – Myanmar: We removed 36 Facebook accounts, six Pages, two Groups and one Instagram account linked to Openmind, a PR agency in Myanmar. This activity originated in Myanmar and targeted domestic audiences in Myanmar. We found this network as part of our proactive investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region ahead of the November election in Myanmar.
  7. NEW Ukraine: We removed 46 Facebook accounts, 44 Pages, one Group and three Instagram accounts linked to MAS Agency, a PR firm in Ukraine, and individuals associated with Yulia Timoshenko’s campaign and Batkivshchyna, a political party in Ukraine. This activity originated in Ukraine and targeted domestic audiences in Ukraine. We found this network as part of our investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region. Our review benefited from public reporting on some of this activity in Ukraine.
  8. Mexico, Venezuela: We removed 2 Facebook Pages and 22 Instagram accounts operated by individuals from Mexico and Venezuela. They primarily targeted the US. We began this investigation based on information about this network’s off-platform activity from the FBI. Our internal investigation revealed the full scope of this network on Facebook. (Originally announced on October 27, 2020)
  9. Iran: We also removed 12 Facebook accounts, 6 Pages and 11 Instagram accounts linked to individuals associated with the Iranian government. This small network originated in Iran and focused primarily on the US and Israel. It had some limited links to the CIB network we removed in April 2020. We began this investigation based on information from the FBI about this network’s off-platform activity. (Originally announced on October 27, 2020)
  10. Myanmar: We removed 10 Facebook accounts, 8 Pages, 2 Groups and 2 Instagram accounts operated by individuals in Myanmar. They focused on domestic audiences. We found this network as part of our proactive investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior ahead of the upcoming election in the region. (Originally announced on October 27, 2020)
  11. US: We removed 202 Facebook accounts, 54 Pages and 76 Instagram accounts linked to Rally Forge, a US marketing firm, working on behalf of Turning Point USA and Inclusive Conservation Group. They focused primarily on domestic US audiences and also on Kenya and Botswana. Rally Forge is now banned from Facebook. We began our investigation after public reporting about some elements of this activity by the Washington Post. We are continuing to review all linked networks, and will take action as appropriate if we determine they are engaged in deceptive behavior. (Originally announced on October 8, 2020)
  12. Myanmar: We removed 38 Facebook accounts, 15 Pages and 6 Instagram accounts linked to members of the Myanmar military. This activity originated in Myanmar and targeted domestic audiences. We began our investigation after reviewing local public reporting about some elements of this activity as part of our proactive work ahead of the upcoming election in Myanmar. (Originally announced on October 8, 2020)
  13. Azerbaijan: We removed 589 Facebook accounts, 7,665 Pages and 437 accounts on Instagram linked to the Youth Union of New Azerbaijani Party. This network originated in Azerbaijan and focused primarily on domestic audiences. We identified this network through an internal investigation into suspected fake engagement activity in the region. (Originally announced on October 8, 2020)
  14. Nigeria: We removed 78 Facebook accounts, 45 Pages, 93 Groups and 46 Instagram accounts linked to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. This network originated primarily in Nigeria and focused on domestic audiences. We identified this activity through our investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region with some limited links to the network we removed in March 2019. (Originally announced on October 8, 2020)

See the detailed report for more information.

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