Who is behind MintReach in Nigeria, one of the firms that Facebook removed for peddling fake news?

  • Facebook has removed multiple Pages, Groups, and accounts belonging to a Nigerian firm and others for peddling fake news.
  • Checks by Business Insider SSA show that one of the companies, MintReach PR Limited, was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria.
  • Is the fight against fake news yielding desired result?

Facebook has flagged and removed multiple Pages, Groups and accounts that were involved in 'coordinated inauthentic behaviour' on its platforms including Instagram.

According to the social media giant, the accounts operated mainly from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Nigeria.

Facebook said the campaigns from these three main countries were unconnected, but “both created networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.”

We’re constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people.

“We’re taking down these Pages, Groups, and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted. In each of these cases, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy said in a note seen by Business Insider SSA.

Facebook said its investigation found links to three marketing firms across the key countries — Charles Communications in UAE, MintReach in Nigeria, and Flexell in Egypt.

Checks by Business Insider SSA show that the company, MintReach PR Limited, registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria with the number 1539249 in November 2018.

According to Facebook, the accounts have:

  • Presence on Facebook and Instagram: 211 Facebook accounts, 107 Pages, 43 Groups and 87 Instagram accounts.
  • Followers: Less than 1.4 million accounts followed one or more of these pages, less than 100 accounts joined one or more of the Groups and less than 70,000 accounts followed at least one of these Instagram accounts.
  • Advertising: Less than $150,000 spent on Facebook ads paid for primarily in US dollars, Emirati dirham, and Indian rupee.

Is the Nigerian government fight against fake news yielding results

In July 2018, the government launched the National Campaign Against Fake News, describing the menace as a time bomb.

In the same year, the country's minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Facebook is supporting the government's effort to curb the menace. 

Though there are fewer campaigns as regards curbing fake news by the government in recent times, the action of Facebook is great.

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