Facebook shuts down fake Iran-based accounts targeting US

The company also removed accounts based in Russia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Facebook has stopped more accounts attempting foreign interference. 
Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook continues to crack down on accounts that exhibit what it calls "coordinated inauthentic behavior" designed to create political strife. The company's latest update, released Wednesday, shows it has taken down several fake accounts based in Iran that targeted the US. 

The social media giant said it shut down six Facebook accounts and five Instagram accounts based in Iran that were part of a network attempting to create foreign interference in the US. Individuals used fake accounts to share political news stories, try to contact public officials and post in various groups. They focused on content dealing with the US elections, religion, immigration policy and other hot-button political issues.


An example of one of the fake accounts Facebook removed. 


Along with the fake accounts based in Iran, Facebook took aim at Russia-based accounts. Facebook shut down 78 Facebook accounts, 11 pages and 29 groups, as well as four Instagram accounts. All of the Russia-based accounts were targeting Ukraine. 

Facebook also shut down 13 Facebook accounts and 10 pages based in Vietnam and Myanmar that focused on Myanmar.

"We're constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don't want our services to be used to manipulate people. We're taking down these pages, groups and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted," Facebook said in its blog post.

In recent years, Facebook has purged thousands of Iranian accounts and Russian accounts that were attempting foreign interference.

Originally published Feb. 12, 7:19 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:27 a.m. PT: Adds background details.