The company Meta, which owns the social networks Facebook and Instagram, announced a ban on the Russian Cyber Front Z troll factory, which aimed to show the mass nature of supporters of Putin’s war in Ukraine through the Telegram channel.
According to Ukrinform, this says in the company’s quarterly threat report.
The Cyber Front Z group that emerged after the Russian invasion of Ukraine “was clumsy and vastly ineffective,” Meta noted.
The company’s report described the group’s activities as “a pathetic attempt…to give the impression of massive online support for the Russian invasion by using fake accounts to post pro-Russian comments on content from influencers and the media.”
Meta discovered the group’s activity on its platform in March after it was exposed by Russian media that it had begun recruiting online.
The company launched an investigation and found Cyber Front Z Instagram accounts and a link to people associated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian entity that distributes fake social media accounts and is related to Putin’s oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Attempts to spam posts on social networks Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki were also detected. Politicians, journalists, actors and commercial brands from all over the world who publicly condemned the Russian invasion and supported Ukraine were targeted.
After studying the activity of suspicious commentators, Meta concluded that they worked seven days a week “with a short lunch break.” In “isolated cases,” the same account posted both pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian comments within minutes of each other. Researchers have speculated that this may reflect an attempt to blow up the troll factory from the inside.
The report notes that the group acted inefficiently, apparently mimicking activities to convince their sponsors or employers.
In total, according to Meta representatives, 45 Facebook accounts and 1,037 Instagram accounts associated with Cyber Front Z have been removed.
According to the message cyberscoopthe Cyber Front Z troll group is still active on Telegram and has 110,692 followers as of August 4th.
Among the many posts on Thursday was a note praising an Amnesty International report criticizing the UAF’s military tactics, as well as “memes from the Russian Ministry of Defense for distribution.”