Social media giants Facebook and Twitter announced that accounts found to be linked to the Russian government have been removed from their systems. In the statements made, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), known for its proximity to the Moscow government and accused of interfering with the 2016 US elections, was shown as the perpetrator of the fake account operation.
Fake account operation based on Russian government
The operation focused on the non-profit English and Arabic-language news site PeaceData. Twitter has suspended 5 accounts related to the structure that aims to be effective in North Africa, the Middle East and English-speaking countries. In the statement, “We suspended 5 accounts belonging to this manipulation platform, which can be attributed to Russian state institutions.” In the statement from the Facebook front, it was stated that 13 accounts and 2 pages were closed due to violation of the in-house service rules. Emphasizing that the accounts use fake names and profile pictures, Facebook said that freelance writers who were unaware of the incident also wrote for the PeaceData site.
While both platforms stated that the operation was successful at a limited stage, the fact that the development took place two months before the presidential election between Trump and Biden raised questions.
The IRA, which was part of the investigation conducted by attorney Robert Mueller as part of the Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election, was among the 3 Russian companies and 13 people accused of the issue. Mueller spent 2 years researching the 2016 election. However, although he could not find any evidence, he stated in the report that he published the conclusion that Russia intervened with the intention of benefiting from Donald Trump’s campaign.