Facebook said Tuesday that it had pulled down 181 fake accounts, groups and pages that originated in China and posted about current events, including the US presidential election. Some of these included posted material supporting and opposing U.S. President Donald Trump.
The most widely followed accounts and pages were in the Philippines, where they shared content supporting China’s actions in the contested South China Sea and national leader Rodrigo Duterte.
The U.S. accounts had fewer followers and posted content fueling both sides of the American election that will be held on Nov. 3 rather than exclusively supporting one side, the company said.
Facebook cyber security policy chief Nathaniel Gleicher said that the take down was the company’s first of Chinese-based accounts on foreign-interference grounds with any engagement in U.S. politics. But he said the American accounts and groups seemed aimed mainly at building an audience.
“The volume of content is so low, it’s very hard to assess what their goal is,” Gleicher said. Facebook said. Less than 3,000 of the accounts’ followers were in the U.S.