Facebook has deactivated 735 accounts linked to a powerful paramilitary group in Sudan over what it calls “suspected coordinated inauthentic behaviour”.
“We removed 116 Pages, 666 Facebook accounts, 69 groups and 92 Instagram accounts in Sudan that targeted domestic audiences in that country,” the social media giant said in a statement on Monday.
The accounts were linked to the Rapid Security Forces (RSF), which is operated by the Sudanese government, it added.
“The people behind this activity used fake accounts – many of which were already detected and disabled by our automated systems – to manage groups and pages, post, comment and react to their own content to make it appear more popular than it was.
“Some of the pages purported to be independent news entities. Some of the accounts posed as freelancers, journalists and students in Sudan, and some accounts used celebrity photos as their profile pictures,” Facebook said.
The RSF has not yet commented.
The paramilitary group – which is led by Sudan’s Sovereign Council Vice-Chairman Mohamed Dagalo, also known as Hemeti – has been accused of gross human rights violations in several parts of the country. It denies the allegations.
Facebook’s latest intervention comes about a month after it removed 116 pages, 666 Facebook accounts, 69 groups and 92 Instagram accounts targeting Sudanese audiences.
And in July, Facebook removed 53 accounts hostile to the Sudanese transitional government.Article share tools.