2019 Polls: How Israeli Firm Spearheaded Pro-Atiku Propaganda On Facebook

Tech Security

Facebook has disclosed that it had disabled a set of about 265 fake facebook and Instagram accounts that were created by a Tel Aviv, an Israeli based Archimedes Group for interfering with the recent Nigeria General Election.


Their antics were exposed by the American online social media and social networking service company, the company on May 16 accused Archimedes of spreading propaganda and manipulating voters in Nigeria and some other African countries, Asia and Latin America, according to an internal investigation launched by Facebook into inauthentic behavior on its platform.


Facebook removed the accounts, pages, groups and events that were deemed to be fake or used to circulate deliberately manipulative content on the platform.


About 2.8 million Facebook users followed one or more of the said pages, various events were organized by these pages’ creators.


According to Archimedes Group’s website, the firm is in the business called “winning campaigns worldwide”, adopting alternative methods where necessary. “Archimedes has created and operates in its own unique field within the social media realm,” the site states.


While Facebook has identified Archimedes Group as the source singularly behind the activity, however, other identities or organizations that may have been behind the campaigns are yet to be identified.


Accordingly, “The activity which originated in Israel and focussed on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in Latin America and southeast Asia,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cyber security policy, exposes this in a blog post detailing the campaign.


In one of the page, The DFR Lab also found a sensitive page, “Team Atiku For President,” that aimed at reinforcing support for Abubakar’s presidential campaign.


Findings by vigil360 indicate that many of the pages included in this take-down focused on projecting President Muhammadu Buhari as incompetent and sold narratives urging Nigerians to vote him out in the February 2019 Nigerian elections.