Facebook has removed 103 pages, groups and accounts that were part of a network it said was linked to employees of the Pakistani military’s public relations arm, the social media group announced on Monday.
Facebook said it removed pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram that spread information about Pakistani politics and political leaders, the Indian government and the Pakistani military.
“Today we removed 103 pages, Groups and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour on Facebook and Instagram as part of a network that originated in Pakistan,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity, said in a statement.
“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found that it was linked to employees of the ISPR (Inter-Service Public Relations) of the Pakistani military.”
ISPR did not respond to requests for comment.
Facebook’s announcement comes at a time when it has been facing increasing pressure across the world over the use of its platforms by politically aligned groups, many of which conceal their true identity.
The 24 pages, 57 accounts and 7 groups removed on Facebook had more than 2.8 million followers. An additional 15 Instagram accounts were also removed.
Facebook simultaneously announced the removal of 687 pages and accounts linked to India’s main opposition Congress party which had engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its social media platform.
“We’re taking down these pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted,” Gleicher said.