January 19, 2019  |  Updated February 6, 2019

Sputnik Falsely Claims ‘Censorship’ After Facebook Removed Hundreds of Accounts

By William Echols
Image of a page, with anti-NATO messages, taken down by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic behavior."

On Thursday, January 17, Facebook announced it had removed 364 Facebook Pages and accounts “for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern European countries.”

The company said that the page administrators and accounts “primarily represented themselves as independent news or general interest pages related to weather, travel, sports, economics, or politicians in Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. Yet Facebook said the pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a government-own and operated news agency based in Moscow.”

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