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    Russian Foreign Ministry Welcomes Facebook’s Moves to Deal With Fake Accounts

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    Moscow welcomes Facebook’s plans to tackle the spread of social media fake accounts, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

    SEVASTOPOL (Sputnik) — In late April, Facebook said its platform had been used to control and manipulate public discourse by stealing and leaking personal data, seeding stories to journalists via fake online personas and coordinating action by inauthentic accounts to amplify certain narratives. The company released a white paper stating it would try to disrupt "attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people."

    "A Facebook abuser's arsenal includes using so-called ‘fake accounts’ for spreading fabricated news and disinformation, spam, malware, for financial fraud and hacking users’ personal data. The social network announced its intention to deal with this and use a set of measures against such phenomena. We welcome this decision of the Facebook corporation to draw attention of the international community to the risks posed by social media and especially to the issue of deceptive information campaigns that we have talked about numerous times," Zakharova said.

    The spokeswoman added that Russia has repeatedly faced "twisted information attacks," many of them via means of social media.

    "Despite our numerous requests, Facebook still failed to block the fake accounts of Russian embassies in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. And recently we have revealed similar fake pages of the embassies in Sweden and Uganda that are also being used to mislead users," Zakharova explained.

    By failing to act, Facebook encourages the spread of disinformation, she added, but noted that the ministry is still grateful for steps taken to unblock the frozen accounts of Russian embassies.

    On April 19, Facebook temporarily blocked the mostly Slovak-language official page of the Russian embassy in Slovakia for unspecified reasons. A fake page titled "The Soviet Embassy in Czechoslovakia" then started posting misleading information. According to the embassy, the official page was unblocked the next morning, but the fake account remains operative and continues to post misleading and provocative information.


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