Meta eliminates Chinese effort to influence US elections

The Russian operation involved 1,633 Facebook accounts, 703 Pages and one group, as well as 29 different Instagram accounts, according to the company report. Some 4,000 accounts followed one or more of the Facebook pages. When Meta moved to block domains from the operation, new websites appeared, “suggesting continued persistence and investment in this activity.”

Meta began his investigation after revelations in August by one of the German television channels, ZDF. As in the case of the Chinese operation, it did not explicitly indict the government of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, although the activity clearly reflects the Kremlin’s extensive information war surrounding its invasion.

“They were throwing everything against the wall, and it wasn’t sticking very much,” said David Agranovich, Meta’s director of threat disruption. “That does not mean that we can say that the mission was accomplished here.”

In a statement, Twitter said it had been investigating the accounts identified by Meta “for some time” and had taken action against accounts that violated the company’s rules, without elaborating.

Meta’s report noted overlap between the Russian and Chinese campaigns on “several occasions,” though the company said they were not connected. The overlap reflects the increasing cross-fertilization of official statements and state media reports in the two countries, especially with regard to the United States.

Accounts associated with the Chinese campaign published material from Russia’s state media, including those involving baseless accusations that the United States had secretly developed biological weapons in Ukraine.

A French-language account linked to the operation posted a version of the allegation in April, 10 days after the Russian Defense Ministry originally posted it on Telegram. That one only got one response, in French, from an authentic user, according to Meta.

“False,” the user wrote. “False. False as usual.