TikTok Inc. revealed a Russian disinformation network disseminating propaganda about Moscow’s full-scale war against Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Feb. 9.
The network targeted over 100,000 European users over the summer of 2022.
Around 1,700 accounts masquerading as local users but based in Russia propagated anti-Ukrainian narratives to people in Germany, Italy, and the U.K.
According to Bloomberg, the accounts garnered 133,564 followers between July and September 2022.
It is currently unclear as to whether the network has links to the Kremlin.
The discovery was revealed as part of a report under the European Union’s Code of Practice on Disinformation.
“We don’t allow activities that may undermine the integrity of our platform or the authenticity of our users,” a TikTok spokesperson said, as reported by Bloomberg. “The fact that these networks and related accounts were quickly identified and removed is a testament to the considerable resources we have invested in protecting our community from being misled.”
EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell announced the creation of a new Information Sharing and Analysis Center within the EU’s foreign services to fight disinformation campaigns on Feb. 7.
The creation of the center follows the release of the first European External Action Service report on foreign information manipulation and interference threats.
The report offers evidence of Russian disinformation campaigns, in addition to an analysis of new disinformation techniques and insights into cooperation between Russia and China.