Facebook closes a large “troll factory” in Ukraine. Among the deleted pages are Znaj.ua and Politeka

Facebook stopped the activity of accounts and groups that conducted coordinated disinformation campaigns in Ukraine. According to official figures, in total, Facebook removed 168 accounts, 149 pages, 79 groups.

It was possible to identify these accounts and groups as misinformation campaigns not due to the content, but due to behavioral analysis. According to the head of the cybersecurity policy of social networks Nathaniel Gleicher in a comment for Liga.net, the deleted accounts are connected with the Kyiv PR-agency Pragmatico.

As the press service of Facebook told AIN.UA, the people behind this activity used fake accounts to manage groups and pages, as well as to increase engagement, distribute content and direct people to external sites that impersonated news media. Administrators and page owners, as a rule, published data on celebrities, show business, sports, local and international news, political news (in particular, on elections in Ukraine), political candidates, and criticized public figures.

  • The Kyiv company spent about $ 1.6 million on advertising, it managed to attract about 4.2 million followers in total, about 400,000 accounts joined the groups.
  • Pages and groups were managed by fake accounts, their names were constantly being changed.
  • These groups and accounts have been active during the recent election.
  • Among the examples of deleted pages there were the accounts of the publishers Hyser, Znaj.ua, Politeka, which are now inaccessible.