During the third quarter of 2023, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced its removal of three foreign influence operations from its platform. These operations, classified as coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB), included two originating from China and one from Russia. The company took action against these campaigns as they aimed to manipulate public opinion by disseminating misleading or false information. Their primary objective was to sway viewpoints, particularly on sensitive geopolitical issues, through the spread of deceptive narratives and fictitious personas.
The first Chinese CIB targeted Tibet and the Arunachal Pradesh region of India. It involved 13 Facebook accounts and seven Groups, with one Group accumulating approximately 1,400 followers. False personas posing as journalists and activists propagated baseless accusations against the Dalai Lama and the Indian government. The second Chinese CIB, removed before significant engagement, comprised 4,789 fake Facebook accounts impersonating Americans, intending to influence US politics and US-China relations. Meanwhile, the Russian campaign, which criticized Ukraine and made controversial statements on social issues, specifically targeted English-speaking audiences discussing the war in Ukraine. Meta highlighted that these operations sought to sway opinions on ongoing geopolitical events, a trend expected to intensify in 2024, especially in light of forthcoming elections in the United States and Europe.
Despite advancements in detecting such campaigns aided by technology like gen-AI, Meta emphasized the need for continued collaboration across the industry and with law enforcement to counter and prevent the spread of covert influence operations.