Facebook dismantles 36-account, six-page network operated by Myanmar public relations agency

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Facebook deleted a network of 36 accounts and six pages managed by Openmind (representation)

Singapore:

Facebook said on Friday it dismantled dozens of accounts and pages run in Myanmar by business operators over what it described as inauthentic behavior, including some it said used fictitious people to support a party. Politics.

More than half of Myanmar’s 53 million people use the social media platform, which for many is synonymous with the internet.

In its monthly report, Facebook said it removed a network of 36 accounts and six pages operated by a Burmese public relations agency, Openmind, because it said they were using fictitious people to promote the Solidarity and Development Party. Union (USDP).

In a response posted to his Facebook account, Openmind said he was not involved in any political activity and had not created an account for the USDP.

USDP spokeswoman Ya Min Myint Swe said she had no knowledge of the PR agency.

Reuters reported on Friday that dozens of Facebook pages in Myanmar were spreading ethnically and religiously lies ahead of Sunday’s general election, including some pages linked to networks run by the Burmese military.

Separately, Facebook on Friday removed more than three dozen pages posting Myanmar-related content reported by Reuters that the social media company said was connected to separate spam networks that were dismantled last month.

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The pages had “clickbait” content, including celebrity gossip and coronavirus misinformation. Some had up to a million followers.

A report by social media analytics firm Graphika in October found that spam networks would redirect users to high ad-content websites with political and pro-military content.

Researchers from Graphika Victoire Rio and Myat Thu told Reuters they are currently monitoring more than 900 pages of similar bait, with a total of 225 million subscribers.

Although seen as primarily motivated by financial considerations, Rio warned that such pages could be hired or co-opted by political actors for events such as the upcoming Myanmar elections.

“By leveraging their various Facebook pages and groups, these actors have the power to turn any story, true or false, into national news within hours,” Rio said.

(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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