BANG Showbiz English
Meta bans surveillance firms from targeting users on Facebook and Instagram.
The company behind the social media giants has said seven surveillance companies have been banned from its platforms for targeting around 50,000 users with “malicious activities”.
Meta accused the firms of actions like creating fake accounts, befriending targets, and using hacking methods to harvest information.
The company has sent warnings about the activities to the 50,000 affected users and revealed some 1,500 pages had been suspended by Meta across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
According to Meta, the surveillance companies targeted people in more than 100 countries on behalf of their clients.
The news comes as Facebook is already taking legal action against the owners of Pegasus over the alleged spreading of software via WhatsApp.
The US government blacklisted the firm and others last month, accusing them of providing spyware for foreign governments to “maliciously target” individuals.
Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy for Meta, said at the time: “The surveillance industry is much bigger than just one company, and it’s much bigger than just malware-for-hire.”
He also claimed investigators had found targeting that was “indiscriminate” including ordinary members of the public as well as high-profile figures like politicians and human rights advocates.