On August 4, 2022, Meta announced that it had banned a pro-Russia troll group, known as Cyber Front Z, which used Telegram and other platforms to mobilize supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine. Its goal was to direct real people on Telegram to flood platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram with pro-Russian comments and posts. This organized trolling campaign targeted posts by public figures, journalists, politicians, and celebrities. Meta claimed it first detected Cyber Front Z’s physical troll farm, operating out St. Petersburg, one month after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It banned the group from its platforms in April and shut down 45 Facebook accounts and 1,037 Instagram accounts associated with it. Meta officials argued that Cyber Front Z’s efforts were unsuccessful and described them as “clumsy and largely ineffective”. Additionally, the UK government linked Cyber Front Z to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Internet Research Agency.
Meta bans Russia-linked troll group called Cyber Front Z for spreading disinformation