Facebook removes accounts from Russia, Iran for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’

Facebook said the pages and accounts were removed for their behavior and not content. (AP)
Updated 26 March 2019
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Facebook removes accounts from Russia, Iran for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’

  • Facebook said 513 of those accounts were tied to Iran
  • The accounts tied to Russia were largely removed for spam
BENGALURU: Facebook said on Tuesday it has removed more accounts from Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo, citing what it described as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
A total of 2,632 pages, groups, and accounts were removed from Facebook and Instagram for operations linked to the above-mentioned countries, the social media platform said.
513 of those accounts were tied to Iran, while 1,907 were linked to Russia, Facebook said.
The accounts tied to Russia were largely removed for spam with a small portion of those engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior, according to the statement.
Facebook also said the pages and accounts were removed for their behavior and not content.
The social media platform has recently been cracking down on such accounts in many countries after coming under fire in the last two years for its self-admitted sluggishness in developing tools to combat extremist content and propaganda operations.
The company had also removed certain accounts tied to Iran earlier in January.


Netflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India

Updated 18 July 2019
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Netflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India

  • India is among the last big growth markets for the company
  • Netflix faces competition from Amazon’s Prime Video and Walt Disney Co’s Hotstar
Netflix said on Wednesday it would roll out a lower-priced mobile-only plan in India within the next three months to tap into a price-sensitive market at a time the streaming company is losing customers in its home turf.
India is among the last big growth markets for the company, where it faces competition from Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video and Hotstar, a video streaming platform owned by Walt Disney Co’s India unit.
Netflix lost US streaming customers for the first time in eight years on Wednesday, when it posted quarterly results. It also missed targets for new subscribers overseas.
“India is a mobile-first nation, where many first-time users are experiencing the Internet on their phones. In such a scenario, a mobile-only package makes sense to target new users,” said Tarun Pathak, analyst at Counterpoint Research.
The creator of “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” said in March that it was testing a 250-rupee ($3.63) monthly subscription for mobile devices in India, where data plans are among the cheapest in the world.
The country figures prominently in Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings’ global expansion plans.
“We believe this plan, which will launch in the third quarter, will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business,” the company said in a letter to investors released late on Wednesday.
Netflix currently offers three monthly plans in India, priced between 500 rupees ($7.27) and 800 rupees $11.63).
It has created a niche following in the country by launching local original shows like the thriller “Sacred Games” and dystopian tale “Leila,” which feature popular Bollywood actors.
The second season of “Sacred Games” is set to release in August.
In contrast, Hotstar, which also offers content from AT&T Inc’s HBO and also streams live sports, charges 299 rupees ($4.35) per month. Amazon bundles its video and music streaming services with its Prime membership.
“We’ve been seeing nice steady increases in engagement with our Indian viewers that we think we can keep building on. Growth in that country is a marathon, so we’re in it for the long haul,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said.