Meta announced that it deleted a network of nearly 4,800 fake Facebook profiles linked to a Chinese effort to further polarize political debates in the United States. The company said the network of accounts was removed "before it was able to gain engagement from authentic communities on our apps."
The profiles were designed to appear like average Americans, with fake photos, names, and personal information. The profiles shared a mix of liberal and conservative viewpoints.
They would copy and paste partisan political content originally posted on X from various sources, including politicians, news organizations, and political commentators. They would also post other, more mundane content to make it appear like they were real people.
Meta did not provide evidence that the effort was directed by the Chinese government. The social media company, which owns Facebook and Instagram, only said the accounts originated in China.
"These networks still struggle to build audiences, but they're a warning," Ben Nimmo, Global Lead for Threat Intelligence at Meta, said during a call with reporters. "Foreign threat actors are attempting to reach people across the internet ahead of next year's elections, and we need to remain alert."