Facebook Cracks Down on Ad Agency Spreading Vaccine Misinformation Through Influencers

Facebook Cracks Down on Ad Agency Spreading Vaccine Misinformation Through Influencers

Facebook is cracking down on Fazze, an ad agency recruiting influencers to spread misinformation about the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. On Tuesday, the social media giant announced that 65 Facebook accounts and 243 Instagram accounts were traced back to the firm. The accounts were primarily from Russia, on behalf of an unidentified client. 

Fazze created fake accounts to spread misinformation regarding the safety of some coronavirus vaccines. One ridiculously claimed the AstraZeneca shot would turn a person into a chimpanzee. Facebook said the agency targeted audiences in Latin America, India, and to some extent, the United States. 

The campaign was first exposed by French and German influencers back in May. But some influencers appeared to take the bate, posting videos and then deleting them. 

“Although it was sloppy and didn’t have very good reach, it was an elaborate setup,” Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, told The Daily Mail.

While there is no official link, one can speculate that Russia and President Vladimir Putin have everything to gain from the smear campaign. They have been actively marketing their own brand of vaccine, known as Sputnik V, to other countries. 

Putin has previously taken jabs at other vaccines, specifically Pfizer and AstraZeneca. During his annual televised phone-in, he said, “As you can see, everything is in order, and thank God we don’t have such tragic situations after vaccinations like AstraZeneca or Pfizer.”

Facebook declined to name a reason for the smear campaign. 

About ErinBoogie

Erin Boogie is a blogger for BallerAlert.com and producer/co-host of the weekly radio show In the Field Radio.

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