Facebook parent Meta considering curbs on Russian misinformation after Ukrainian soldiers' accounts targetted
- Meta said hackers are posing as journalists from independent outlets to hack Ukrainian soldiers' Facebook accounts
- The hackers were successful in a handful of cases, Meta said
- Hackers also running campaigns to take down anti-Russia posts, the social media company added
Meta, the parent company of social media giant Facebook, on Thursday said that it reviewing additional steps to curb misinformation from Russian government pages. The statement by the company was released after it admitted that hacker groups from Russia and Belarus are targetting the accounts of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.
The social media company also added that it has removed hacking campaigns, influence networks and scam operations.
As per Meta, the hackers are posing as journalists from independent outlets to hack Ukrainian soldiers' Facebook accounts. They are also running campaigns to take down anti-Russia posts.
The hackers were successful in a handful of cases, Meta said. It added that "they posted videos calling on the Army to surrender as if these posts were coming from the legitimate account owners. We blocked these videos from being shared."
"We're constantly reviewing our policies based on the evolving situation on the ground and we are actively now reviewing additional steps to address misinformation and hoaxes coming from Russian government pages," Meta's president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said on a call with reporters.
The company noted that the actions of the hacking groups intensified shortly before Russia announced invasion. Meta added that it has removed a network of about 200 accounts operated from Russia. It claims that they had repeatedly filed false reports about people in Ukraine and Russia.
"Russia's invasion brought a huge surge in attacks against social media accounts via mass reporting," Vadym Hudyma, co-founder at Digital Security Lab Ukraine, an organization that helps secure the online accounts of journalists and activists, told CNN.
"Many social media pages were temporarily shut down. We've probably recovered most of them quite quickly. But that was a mess," Hudyma added.
Meta said that the hackers claimed to be news editors, a former aviation engineer, and an author of a scientific publication on hydrography. Fake profile photos were used in disinformation campaigns.