Facebook Closes Pro-Buhari Accounts Managed By Israeli Political Consulting Firm

  •  Pages and accounts were linked to Archimedes.
  • Several of the removed pages attempted to defame Atiku.

Social media giant, Facebook has closed some accounts created by an Israeli firm named Archimedes opened campaigning for support for president Muhammadu’s reelection.

According to reports, the accounts, before their closure, were used purposely for disseminating smear campaigns against Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and eulogizing President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Saharareporters, many of the pages and accounts were discovered to be linked to a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm named Archimedes.

On its sparse website of African stock images, the company advertises its deliberate efforts to conduct disinformation campaigns, boasting that it takes every advantage available in order to change reality based on their clients’ direction and wishes through “unlimited online accounts operation.”

It was gathered that Facebook banned Archimedes from its platform on Thursday for its “coordinated and deceptive behaviour” and conducted a sweeping takedown of dozens of accounts and hundreds of pages primarily aimed at disrupting elections in African countries, with some scattered activity in South-East Asia and Latin America.

It was revealed that the misleading counts had reached some 2.8 million users, and the pages had engaged over 5,000 followers.

According to Facebook’s estimates, one of the pages that Facebook cancelled appeared filled with viral misinformation attacking Atiku, a former Vice-President of Nigeria.

The page’s banner image showed Abubakar as Darth Vader, the Star Wars villain, holding up a sign reading, ‘Make Nigeria Worse Again’.

“Another page with almost identical visuals, although significantly excluding the Darth Vader mask, purported to support Atiku, with the slogan ‘Team Atiku for President’.

“The report identified the page as a covert attempt to infiltrate Atiku’s audience of potential voters and manipulate their views, gradually spamming them with antithetical content and diverting them to the ‘Make Nigeria Worse’ page,” it further said.

With several of the removed pages attempted to defame candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the report said one page with artificially amplified audience engagement, called “Rivers Violence Watch,” pumped out political propaganda while posing as a neutral monitor of election violence, using the page description to mask its efforts.

Most of the pages claimed to be run by local Nigerian users, but in fact, were managed from Israel.

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