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Facebook booted over 300 Russian accounts claiming COVID vaccines turned people into chimpanzees

Another day, another misinformation campaign.

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Image: Unsplash

Facebook is a cesspool of bad opinions and misinformation, but now, the company has taken steps to make it just a little bit cleaner. This is because the company has removed a network of Russian accounts that were pushing anti-vax information.

As announced by Facebook and reported on by Reuters, the company removed accounts connected to Fazze, “a subsidiary of UK-registered marketing firm AdNow.” The company is registered in the UK, but does much of its business out of Russia.

This marketing firm targeted many places, including the US, but focused much of its efforts in India and Latin America. It helped spread anti-vax campaigns across Facebook, Reddit, Change.org, and more.

Fazze even enlisted the help of some influencers to spread misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Some of these campaigns were intended to just question the effects of the vaccine, while others went full conspiracy theory, claiming the vaccine turned people into chimpanzees.

The network of accounts went dark for a bit in early 2021 but then starting pushing misinformation regarding the Pfizer vaccine.

Fazze has been on Facebook investigators’ radars for a while now, after two French and German influencers were approached by the marketing firm. Thankfully, they realized something was off about the whole ordeal and exposed the company for its shady tactics.

In total, 300+ accounts that were responsible for spreading this misinformation were removed from Facebook and Instagram. Over 24,000 people in total followed one or more of these accounts on Instagram.

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