Facebook has removed hundreds of fake accounts with Artificial Intelligence-generated profile pictures, accusing Epoch Media Group of running the campaign to spread messages that support President Donald Trump.
On Friday, Facebook said it had removed 610 accounts, 89 Facebook pages, 156 groups, and 72 Instagram accounts from Vietnam and the United States. It is suspected to be the first instance of mass use on a social media network of AI-generated profile pictures, with disturbing consequences as Facebook and Twitter aim to crack down on manipulation before the 2020 election.
In a statement, Epoch Times editor Stephen Gregory vehemently denied that the company had any connection to the fake accounts or BL.com, saying that the latter site was created by an ex-employee of Epoch, which operates independently.
Epoch Media Group calls on Facebook to retract its argument that Epoch Media Group was engaged in coordinated action with BL and to remove its suggestion that BL acted on behalf of Epoch Media Group,’ wrote Gregory.
Facebook’s Gleicher said fake accounts operation used profile pictures created by artificial intelligence and masqueraded as Americans to join groups and share the material of BL.
One Facebook account that DailyMail.com found, which regularly linked to a Facebook page pro-Trump, portrayed a man with glasses melting halfway over his forehead-a indication that the image was a fake.
One or more of the blocked Facebook pages followed some 55 million followers, Gleicher said.\ In August, after NBC News ran a series of stories accusing the newspaper of running’ pro-Trump’ political ads, Facebook banned Epoch Times from advertising any ads.
Gregory, the Epoch Times editor, said at the time that the commercial advertising the company’s political coverage is no different from Facebook ads run by CNN and the New York Times likes.
None of our ads were designed to’ cover’ the link with The Epoch Times; all the commercials were specifically for Epoch Times print subscriptions,’ Gregory said. Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican, wrote a letter in November to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, protesting the Epoch Times advertisement moratorium.