Facebook Stops Israel-Based Operation to Disrupt International Elections

Facebook has banned an Israel-based company that ran a campaign to disrupt elections in countries worldwide. Facebook announced Thursday that it has purged dozens of accounts that were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm. In total, Facebook cancelled 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups, and four Instagram accounts, according to the company’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher. In all, the fake pages racked up 2.8 million followers. Archimedes allegedly boasted of its social media skills and ability to “change reality.” Gleicher said he could not speculate about Archimedes’ motives, which “may be commercial or political or for some other strategic goal,” but said Facebook discovered “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” from accounts posing on behalf of certain political candidates. “Our team assessed that because this group is primarily organized to conduct deceptive behavior, we are removing them from the platform and blocking them from coming back,” Gleicher said.