Facebook blocks "troll factory" in Azerbaijan
589 Facebook accounts, 7,906 pages and 447 Instagram accounts, which ‘served the political goals of the Azerbaijani leadership’ and were engaged in denying human rights violations in the country, were removed.
These trolls had spent about $6,600 on Facebook ads.
Facebook published a report titled “Coordinated Misbehavior Removal”.
In this report, the management of the social media giant talks about the blocking of accounts of “troll factories” in some countries.
“More than half of the networks we are sharing today target domestic audiences in their countries, and many of them have interacted with groups and individuals associated with politically active parties in the US, Myanmar, Russia, Nigeria, the Philippines and Azerbaijan,” says the report.
“We have removed 589 Facebook accounts, 7,906 pages and 447 Instagram accounts that displayed coordinated misbehavior. This network originated in Azerbaijan and is primarily focused on the internal audience,” said Facebook in the part of the report related to Azerbaijan.
It is emphasised that this network operated mainly in Azerbaijani, as well as in Russian and English: “Their comments often referred to local and regional news and events, general politics, government policies, tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, actions of Armenia during the past escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh, praise of President Ilham Aliyev and the New Azerbaijan Party, criticism of opposition parties and leaders, accusations of treason and denial of accusations of human rights violations in Azerbaijan.”
The report says that about 33,000 accounts had subscribed to one or more of the already blocked pages and about 242,500 accounts had subscribed to one or more of these pages on Instagram. These accounts spent about $6,600 on advertising and were paid mostly in US dollars.
The report also contains screenshots of some posts, in which the “handwriting” of representatives of the Azerbaijani “troll factory” is clearly visible.