May 30 2024

Meta says it removed six influence campaigns including those from Israel and China

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/29/24167164/meta-covert-influence-campaigns-ai-china-israel

Some inauthentic networks used artificial intelligence in their campaigns to push certain political agendas, according to Meta.

Meta says it cracked down on propaganda campaigns on its platforms, including one that used AI to influence political discourse and create the illusion of wider support for certain viewpoints, according to its quarterly threat report published today. Some campaigns pushed political narratives about current events, including campaigns coming from Israel and Iran that posted in support of the Israeli government.

The networks used Facebook and Instagram accounts to try to influence political agendas around the world. The campaigns — some of which also originated in Bangladesh, China, and Croatia — used fake accounts to post in support of political movements, promote fake news outlets, or comment on the posts of legitimate news organizations.

A network originating in China, for example, consisted of several dozen Instagram and Facebook accounts, pages, and groups and was used to target global Sikh communities, Meta says. Another campaign traced to Israel used more than 500 Facebook and Instagram accounts to pose as local Jewish students, African Americans, and “concerned” citizens praising Israeli military actions and discussing campus antisemitism, among other types of content.

Some of the content shared by those two networks was likely created using generative AI tools, Meta writes. Accounts in the China-based campaign shared AI-generated images, and the Israeli campaign posted AI-generated comments, Meta found. The report says that, for now, AI-powered influence campaigns are not sophisticated enough to evade existing systems of detection.

Influence campaigns are regularly discovered on social media platforms. Earlier in May, TikTok said it had uncovered and disrupted a dozen such networks on its platform, including one that it traced to China.

Illustration: Nick Barclay / The Verge

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Tags: China-based campaign, Fake Political News, israel propaganda campaign