Facebook says it has shut down 150 Chinese based accounts for what it called ‘coordinated’ interference in political discussions revolving around China and the United States.
According to the social media giant, the entire network of accounts collectively gathered a following of 130,000 with very few actually residing in the United States.
Most of the accounts were activated in 2016 and most of the discussions revolved around Chinese influence in the Philippines and the South-East Asia. The accounts were traced to the Fujan Province of China when the individuals tried to pay for Facebook adverts in Chinese currency.
Discussions also revolved around support for Chinese influence in the South China Sea and also criticisms of its actions. US presidential candidates, Joe Biden and Donald Trump were also discussed by supporters and antagonists accordingly.
The accounts were discovered to have also used an AI technology called the Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to create fake profile pictures which looked genuine.
This will be the second time, Facebook will pull the plug on Chinese based accounts for political interference.
Facebook also removed another network of accounts based in the Philippines, comprising of 57 accounts, 31 pages and 20 instagram accounts. All the accounts were found to be fake and linked to the Philippine military and police.
The accounts engaged in posting about news and local events, military activities against terrorism, criticism against communism and other opposition figures in the country.