- Over 7,700 accounts and 930 pages taken down across Meta platforms.
- Campaign focused on boosting China’s image and spreading Covid-19 origin myths.
- Network linked back to a 2019 operation, with connections to Chinese law enforcement.
Meta, the company steering the ship for platforms like Facebook and Instagram, recently busted what they're calling the "grandest covert digital influence campaign in global history." This extensive operation was linked to Chinese law enforcement. Its primary objective? Painting China, especially its Xinjiang province, in rosy colors and spreading misleading info about the Covid-19's origins.
While this massive digital network spanned almost every beloved social media platform you can think of - from the rebranded Twitter, now known as X, to Tumblr - its reach, interestingly, didn't seem to grab genuine engagement. Ben Nimmo, Meta's ace of threat intelligence, shared a tidbit with CNBC: these campaigns might be sprawling, but they're about as subtle as a neon sign in a library.
Tracing back, Meta researchers connected the dots from this disinformation web to a 2019 scheme named Spamouflage. Dive deeper, and they found ties to folks cozy with Chinese law enforcement. In the recent past, Meta's also shed light on Russia's digital misinformation plot post the 2022 Ukraine unrest.
But before you think Meta's fighting fire with fireworks, their execs revealed a twist in the tale: this massive campaign didn't really make a dent. The headlines, though broadcasted widely, often appeared lost in translation, making them more confusing than convincing. Despite this, Nimmo noted the persistence and evolution of these campaigns, iterating that staying on their toes was the only way forward for Meta's cybersecurity team.
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