Facebook removes 'inauthentic' networks spanning Turkey, seven other countries

Facebook on Friday said it has dismantled seven separate networks of fake accounts and pages on its platform that were active in eight countries, including Turkey, due to "coordinated inauthentic behaviour", Reuters reported.

The social media giant said it removed nearly 8,000 pages involved in deceptive political influence campaigns around the world in October, many of which used fake accounts to target audiences both domestically and abroad.

One network of Facebook accounts and pages was operated from Turkey, Egypt and Morocco by individuals connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, Facebook said. The pages targeted countries across the region and included some terrorism-related content, it said.

Within the last decade, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) have courted the Brotherhood, a pan-Islamist political movement operating across the Middle East. Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and their Gulf allies view the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, as it competes with the countries for regional influence.

The four other countries hosting networks Facebook removed from its platform were Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Georgia and Ukraine.