Facebook and Twitter Took Down Pages and Accounts in Bangladesh

Both social networks cited coordinated behavior

About 11,900 people followed at least one of the removed Facebook pages
Oleksii Liskonih/iStock

Social networks turned their attention to Bangladesh this week, as both Facebook and Twitter announced the removal of pages and accounts engaging in what both companies called coordinated behavior in that country.

Facebook head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher revealed in a Newsroom post that a tip from a threat intelligence company Facebook works with, Graphika, led to the removal of nine pages and six accounts.

Gleicher said the pages were designed to look like independent news outlets, and they posted pro-government and anti-opposition content, adding that some 11,900 people followed at least one of the removed pages, and about $800 was spent on advertising on the social network between July 2017 and this past November.

He added that Facebook shared its findings with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab.

The social network also shared three examples of posts from pages that were removed.

Facebook
Facebook
Facebook

The first claimed that Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia expelled BNP general secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. The second alleged that Zia spent 10 million takas (a little over $119,000) in Canada. And the third spoke of the BNP being divided into two clear factions.

Twitter announced in a Twitter Safety tweet that it identified and suspended a total of 15 accounts for “engaging in coordinated platform manipulation.”

The social network added most of those accounts had fewer than 50 followers and promised to publicly release more information when its investigation was complete.

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