Foreign influence networks are on the chopping block this year, according to Meta.
The social media giant says it took down five distinct Chinese networks in its quarterly report. All five were found to be targeting audiences overseas through fake accounts and China had more operations active than any other nation.
Meta pointed out an important shift: from the 2020 election cycle to the current lead-up to next year’s race.
Between 2017 and later 2020, the company removed two Chinese networks. Both had focused on audiences in the Asia-Pacific region.
Compared to the more recent five networks—one of which featured nearly 5,000 fake accounts and targeted American audiences.
An earlier Meta report noted that one recent campaign was active across every major social media platform and over 50 total websites.
The campaigns have surfaced as US-China tensions continue running high and could reflect Beijing’s fears that Washington is cutting off its access to cutting edge technology and markets.
Washington accuses China of issues like intellectual property theft, espionage, and human rights abuses.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington denied being aware of the campaign on Meta platforms.