CIC denies Saudi Arabia's link to fake Facebook accounts

CIC denies Saudi Arabia's link to fake Facebook accounts
Facebook has made at least 14 public announcements about takedowns of “inauthentic behavior” stemming from 17 different countries this year. (File/Reuters)
Updated 03 August 2019

CIC denies Saudi Arabia's link to fake Facebook accounts

CIC denies Saudi Arabia's link to fake Facebook accounts
  • This comes after foreign reports stated that people associated with the nation’s government ran a network of accounts and false pages to promote advertising materials
  • Facebook said it had suspended more than 350 accounts and pages with about 1.4 million followers, the latest takedown in an ongoing effort to combat “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its platform

DUBAI: The Center for International Communication denied ties between Saudi Arabia’s government and people connected with running fake Facebook accounts on Saturday.

“The government of Saudi Arabia has no knowledge of the mentioned accounts and does not know on what basis they were linked to it,” the Center for International Communication said in a statement published by Reuters.

This comes after foreign reports stated that people associated with the nation’s government ran a network of accounts and false pages to promote advertising materials.

Facebook said it had suspended more than 350 accounts and pages with about 1.4 million followers, the latest takedown in an ongoing effort to combat “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its platform.

“The government of Saudi Arabia has no knowledge of the mentioned accounts and does not know on what basis they were linked to it,” the Center for International Communication, the government’s media office, said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Online battleground
Social media companies are under mounting pressure to help stop illicit political influence online.
US intelligence officials have said that Russia used Facebook and other platforms to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election and are concerned it will do so again in 2020. Moscow denies such allegations.

Facebook has made at least 14 public announcements about takedowns of “inauthentic behavior” stemming from 17 different countries this year. The most recent announcement before Thursday included accounts run by people in Thailand, Russia, Ukraine and Honduras.
(With Reuters)