Facebook removes 155 Chinese accounts actively interfering in U.S. politics

• Chinese accounts posted material supporting U.S. President Donald Trump, and pro-Left material

Facebook has removed a number of Chinese accounts on the platform that are oddly active in Philippines and U.S. politics, reports Joe Menn at Reuters today.

Facebook says it suspended 155 accounts on its main platform along with six Instagram accounts.


The most widely followed accounts and pages were in the Philippines, where they shared content supporting China's actions in the contested South China Sea and national leader Rodrigo Duterte.

The U.S. accounts had fewer followers and posted content fueling both sides of the American election that will be held on Nov. 3 rather than exclusively supporting one side, the company said.

Facebook cybersecurity policy chief Nathaniel Gleicher said that the takedown was the company's first of Chinese-based accounts on foreign-interference grounds with any engagement in U.S. politics. But he said the American accounts and groups seemed aimed mainly at building an audience.

"The volume of content is so low, it's very hard to assess what their goal is," Gleicher said.

More at Reuters. And follow Joseph Menn on Twitter.