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Facebook Removes A Network Of Fake Accounts Linked To Fujimori

Facebook removes a network of fake accounts linked to Fujimori that manipulated the elections in Peru.

The social network deactivates up to 86 accounts that supported the far-right candidate and criticized her rival, the leftist Pedro Castillo .

Facebook deleted 80 accounts from the social network and another 6 from Instagram last April that were linked to people “associated with the Fuerza Popular party” and who sought to manipulate the elections in Peru in favor of Keiko Fujimori , the far-right presidential candidate , that on June 6 he will face the left-wing union leader Pedro Castillo in the second round .

According to a monthly company report, these accounts “were aimed at national audiences” in Peru and were found as part of an internal investigation into “coordinated inauthentic behaviors in the region before the elections” in the Andean country.

In Facebook jargon, “coordinated inauthentic behaviors” are attempts to manipulate public debate for a strategic purpose, for which the use of fake accounts that conceal the identity of the senders of the message is essential. Thus, it was deliberately sought to mislead the public about who was behind them.

Those accounts close to the Peruvian extreme right replicated political content related to Fujimori or criticized his opponents. Although “the people” behind the network “tried to hide their identities and their coordination,” the Facebook investigation found “ties to individuals associated with the Fuerza Popular party and individuals employed by Alfagraf , an advertising company in Peru.”

More fake accounts
During the past month, the company also removed 80 other Peruvian Facebook accounts, 12 pages, five groups and three Instagram accounts “that targeted” the northern Peruvian region of Ancash, which were found as part of its internal investigation “into alleged inauthentic behaviors coordinated in the region before the elections in Peru. ”

Although in that case it was not specified what the objective of this coordination was, Facebook indicated that it linked it “to an entity” known as Marketing PolĂ­tico Elohim. The content of the closed pages poured criticism of the regional government, accusations of corruption and candidates for congress from various parties.

Incendiary advertising for elections
In Peru, left-wing union leader Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori, political heir to his father Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), former president sentenced to 25 years in prison for human rights violations and corruption, are facing each other . His authoritarianism made him, in the eyes of his critics, a dictator .

The highly polarized campaign was already marked by the appearance in Lima of a series of very expensive advertisements in which Peruvians were asked to “not vote for communism, ” defend the economic model, and prevent Peru from becoming “Cuba or Venezuela”. Those are recurring sayings in Fujimori’s campaign against Castillo, whom he systematically accuses of being a “communist.”

At the moment, no one has yet been held responsible for the campaign, which remains anonymous despite the request from organizations such as the Transparency Association for its promoter to be revealed. According to Peruvian regulations, a contribution to a candidate’s campaign, such as advertising payment, must be registered or else an irregularity would be incurred .

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