According to social media conglomerate Meta, it has taken down roughly 200 covert influence operations on its platforms since 2017. Meta owns social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp and reported that networks operating on the platforms were disrupted for violating Meta’s Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) policy. Meta released a report stating that the violations originated from 68 countries and spanned at least 42 languages. Additionally, the company reported that only one-third of these operations targeted audiences outside of their own countries.
The most common locality for the covert influence operations was Russia, followed by Iran and Mexico. Russian operations targeting Ukraine, Africa, and the US. The operations were conducted by a variety of different actors, such as those with links to the Russian military and military intelligence agencies, as well as marketing firms and entities associated with sanctioned Russian individuals. Meta reported that tactics ranged from writing spam comments to more sophisticated cross-platform media entities.