Facebook Friday removed hundreds of accounts generated by the Epoch Times which included profile photos produced using artificial intelligence, reported the New York Times.
The Epoch Times is backed by the Falon Gong and tied to disinformation campaigns with a pro-Trump bias.
“This was a large, brazen network that had multiple layers of fake accounts and automation that systematically posted content with two ideological focuses: support of Donald Trump and opposition to the Chinese government,” Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, said to the New York Times.
It featured the fake news Trump likes to rail about except of course when it benefits him. The Epoch Media group denied to the New York Times that it is behind the accounts removed by Facebook and claimed Facebook did not contact it.
The Epoch Media Group acknowledged some of its former employees are involved with the banned accounts, but said that is not evidence of a connection.
According to Fast Company, the Epoch Times strongly opposes the Chinese communist party with a decidedly strong pro-Trump bias.
In August, NBC News reported the Epoch Times purchased 11,000 pro-Trump ads on Facebook at a cost of $1.5 million in six months. The ads spread conspiracy theories and criticized “fake news” media. Facebook banned the Epoch Times from advertising following the report.
Both the Epoch Times and the Shen Yun dance troupe make up the bulk of the outreach efforts of the Falon Gong. The Falon Gong is a spiritual practice in China which the Chinese government began to consider a threat in 1999 due to its large following.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.