In the fight against disinformation, Facebook has removed networks from French and Russian fake accounts. The French accounts are managed by people associated with the French military, Facebook reports.
It is the first time that an army from a western country has been linked with fake accounts on Facebook. The accounts aimed to influence public debate in multiple African countries and confront Russian propaganda.
It is the first time that an army from a western country has been linked to fake accounts and disinformation on Facebook. In total, it concerns almost 100 fake accounts, which reach at least 5,000 people on the platform.
Facebook is confident that its administrators are people with ties to the French military. But Facebook could not prove that they spread the messages on behalf of the French army.
The fake French accounts tried to get involved in the political debate in various African countries. This was the case, for example, in the Central African Republic, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Ivory Coast and Chad. The messages were distributed in both French and Arabic.
The content of the messages had to do with local security in a particular country or was intended to show support for the French army in the region.
The French accounts also got involved in the debate surrounding the Central African Republic elections, which are taking place at the end of this month. Some of the reports were also intended to criticize Russian interference in the region.