Facebook withdraws accounts linked to Fujimori group in Peru

Facebook withdraws accounts linked to Fujimori group in Peru

Facebook said Thursday that it removed 80 accounts that were active in Peru and linked to people associated with the Fuerza Popular party, a finalist for the June presidential elections.

The reason for the account withdrawal is for “coordinated inauthentic conduct,” a term the company uses for bogus accounts created to disrupt elections or political situations.

The announcement is part of a monthly Facebook report that added that six Instagram accounts of people linked to the party of right-wing presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), were also removed in April.

The company said that the people behind this activity used fake accounts to post and comment on political issues in Peru, “focused mainly on content about Fuerza Popular political candidates” and criticized opponents of the political party.

“Although the people behind the network tried to hide their identities and their coordination, our investigation found links with the Fuerza Popular party and with people employed by Alfagraf, an advertising company in Peru,” says the report accessed by the AP.

The report detailed that some 800 accounts were following one or more of the deleted accounts on Instagram and that about $ 3,000 had been spent in advertising expenses on both the Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The accounts were deactivated before the first presidential round of April 11 in which the leftist Pedro Castillo and Fujimori occupied the first and second places with 19% and 13%, respectively and will define in June the presidency where the one who accumulates the most votes will win.

In the April elections, legislative elections were also held to fill the 130 seats of the Peruvian unicameral parliament. Although the scrutiny of the electoral ballots has not yet concluded, the preliminary results indicate that Fuerza Popular could obtain 24 seats.

The company has been cracking down on fake accounts globally after being criticized for not developing quick tools to combat propaganda operations.

Melissa Galbraith
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