Police deny links to troll farm, still gathering info
SHAH ALAM - Cops deny links to ‘troll farm’ as reported by tech giant Meta and currently collecting information on the matter.
Federal police secretary Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saadudin said the police views the report by the company in its Quarterly Adversarial Threat Report seriously.
“The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) views the report by Meta Platforms Incorporated that claims that there are social media fake accounts that ‘had links to PDRM’,” she said in a statement published 11.45pm on Friday (Aug 5).
Malaysians were shocked earlier in the day when a report claimed that close to 1,000 Facebook and Instagram accounts from Malaysia for being part of a "troll farm" aimed at corrupting and manipulating public discourse via fake accounts.
The report by Meta disclosed that the accounts were removed for violating their policy against Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour.
A total of 596 accounts, 180 pages and 11 groups were removed from Facebook while 72 accounts were taken down from Instagram for being part of the network, which had targeted domestic audiences in the country.
"The individuals behind it ran a troll farm - a coordinated effort by co-located operators to corrupt or manipulate public discourse by using fake accounts and misleading people about who is behind them.”
"Although the people behind it attempted to conceal their identity and coordination, our investigation found links to the Royal Malaysia Police,” said Meta, which is Facebook's parent company.
The report added that the network was active across the Internet, including Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, and posted memes in Malay in support of the current government coalition, with claims of corruption among its critics.
Meta claimed that they have found the network after reviewing information about a small portion of this activity initially suspected to have originated in China by researchers at Clemson University.
According to the report, around $6,000 (RM26,739) was spent for advertisements on Facebook and Instagram, paid for primarily in ringgit.