The accounts may have been created to influence the 2024 U.S. presidential election by posing as Americans spreading misleading content focused on U.S. politics and U.S.-China relations.
The accounts in the China-based network had profile pictures and names taken directly from other users across the globe, the company says, with some accounts copying and pasting real posts from U.S. Republican and Democrat politicians, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Representatives Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan and more.
“The campaign appeared intended not to favor one side or another but to highlight the deep divisions in American politics, a tactic that Russia's influence campaigns have used for years in the United States and elsewhere,” notes The New York Times.
Some of the content, Meta says, was taken from posts on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“In some instances, they retweeted posts by X's owner,” the company reports. “They also posted links to news articles from mainstream US media and reshared Facebook posts by real people, likely in an attempt to appear more authentic.”
Per the discovery of these recent fake account, Meta now names China the third most common< geographic source of foreign Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) campaigns it has disrupted after Russia and Iran.
“Foreign threat actors are attempting to reach audiences ahead of next year’s various elections, including in the US and Europe, and we need to remain alert to their evolving tactics and targeting across the internet,” Meta warns.