The Israeli company Archimedes Group spent more than $800,000 running Facebook ads and their accounts had nearly 3 million followers, Facebook said in a blog post announcing the removals Thursday.
This behavior originated in Israel and targeted Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in Latin America and Southeast Asia using $812,000 of Facebook ads paid for with Brazilian, Israeli and United States money from December 2012 to April 2019.
He says they primarily posed as political candidates and peddled fake news about elections, mostly in Sub-Saharan African countries, and with some scattered activity in Southeast Asia.
Pages, accounts, and groups were removed for impersonating local people in order to manipulate legitimate users and to promote politically-driven content relating to Ukraine's military situation, Russian, European, and Ukrainian politics, and the Syrian civil war.
"We're taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted", said a post by Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of global cybersecurity policy.
Archimedes Group spent a total of $812,000 on Facebook ads, running its first advertisement in 2012 and the last in April 2019. The Page administrators and account owners frequently posted about political news, including topics like elections in various countries, candidate views and criticism of political opponents.
The most significant audience engagement was generated in Malaysia, which has a vast media market and held a general election past year, according to Brookie and his team at the Atlantic Council.
Caption: Faithful to only himself, Martin Fayulu criticizes and rejects the results of the presidential election, which has unfolded transparently and in an exemplary calmness. Many governments and watchdog groups condemned the elections as rigged and declared Fayulu the rightful victor. "It's the convergence of ideological disinformation, and disinformation for economic gain".
On its website, Archimedes presents itself as a consulting firm involved in campaigns for presidential elections.
Little information is available beyond its slogan, which is "winning campaigns worldwide", and a vague blurb about the group's "mass social media management" software, which it said enabled the operation of an "unlimited" number of online accounts.
The social media company said that the Israeli company, Archimedes Group, tried to hide its identity in setting up fake accounts with false information.
CNN Business has reached out to the company for comment.
Archimedes' chief executive is Elinadav Heymann, according to Swiss negotiations consultancy Negotiations.CH, where he is listed as one of the group's consultants.
Heymann did not return messages left with Daniel Hardegger, Negotions.CH's managing director.