Facebook accuses Nicaraguan government of running hundreds of fake accounts to target opposition

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Nov 1, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

Nicaragua’s government has, for years, weaponized Facebook to try to discredit student protesters and boost official narratives, new findings show.

Facebook’s takedown of nearly 1,000 accounts, 140 pages, 24 groups and 363 Instagram accounts as part of an alleged troll farm run by the Nicaraguan government and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) party represents “one of the most cross-government troll operations we’ve disrupted to date, with multiple state entities participating in this activity at once,” the company announced Monday.

The effort spanned multiple government institutions, including the Supreme Court and Nicaraguan Social Security Institute, the company said. It also involved a “complex network of media brands across Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Blogspot and Telegram,” along with websites tied to news and political blogs.

The groups, pages, and Instagram accounts were popular: Roughly 585,000 accounts followed one or more of the pages; about 74,5000 accounts joined one or more of the groups, and about 125,000 accounts followed one or more of the Instagram accounts, the company reported. The activity dated back to 2018.

The company’s report claims that “although the operators posed as regular citizens of Nicaragua,” the investigation found

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