Facebook said on Thursday it has removed a number of pages, accounts and groups that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram.
The two operations were found to have originated in Russia, with one active in multiple countries and the other was specific to Ukraine, the social media company said in a blog post.
"We didn’t find any links between these operations, but they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing," the company said.
Under presure, Facebook is working to detect and stop this type of activity used to manipulate people. In these cases, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, Facebook said.
Facebook has removed 289 pages and 75 accounts it says were engaged in inauthentic behavior. Facebook said around 790,000 accounts follow one or more of the pages, and $135,000 was spent for ads on Facebook paid for in euros, rubles, and U.S. dollars.
The pages were also linked to employees of Sputnik, a Russian-backed news agency, Facebook said.
The pages and accounts linked to Sputnik and were being represented as independent news pages. The pages contained anti-NATO sentiment, and encouraged protests. The first ad ran in October 2013, and the most recent ad ran in January 2019.
Separately, based on an initial tip from US law enforcement, Facebook also removed 107 Facebook Pages, Groups, and accounts, as well as 41 Instagram accounts, for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in Ukraine.
Around $25,000 has been spent on Facebook and Instagram paid for in rubles. The first ad ran in January 2018, and the most recent ad ran in December 2018.
Facebook had also identified overlap with activity by the Internet Research Agency, the group that Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted for alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook said it had reached out to law enforcement and local government to follow up with its investigations.