Meta caught Israeli marketing company running hundreds of fake Facebook accounts

Meta caught an Israeli marketing company using fake Facebook accounts to run an influencer campaign on its platform, the company said in its latest report on coordinated inauthentic behavior. The program targeted people in the United States and Canada and published articles about the war between Israel and Hamas.

In total, Meta researchers discovered 510 Facebook accounts, 11 Pages, 32 Instagram accounts and one group linked to the effort, including fake and previously hacked accounts. The accounts identified themselves as “Jewish students, African Americans, and ‘concerned’ citizens” and shared posts praising Israel’s military actions and criticizing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). ) and university events. They also shared Islamophobic comments in Canada, saying “radical Islam poses a threat to liberal values ​​in Canada.”

Meta researchers said the campaign was linked to STOIC, an Israel-based “political marketing and business intelligence company,” but did not speculate on the motivations behind it. STOIC was also active on X and YouTube and ran websites “focused on the Israel-Hamas war and Middle East politics.”

According to Meta, the campaign was discovered before it could build a large audience and many fake accounts were disabled by the company’s automated systems. The accounts reached around 500 followers on Facebook and around 2,000 on Instagram.

The report also notes that the people behind these accounts appeared to use generative AI tools to write many of their comments on the pages of politicians, media organizations and other public figures. “These comments were generally related to operations websites, but they were often “We encountered critical responses from genuine users calling them propaganda,” said David Agranovich, Meta’s policy director for threat disruption , during a press briefing with journalists. networks behind them.