The Big Tech company Meta (former Facebook) announced on Monday that the company found a troll farm in Nicaragua and deleted more than 1,000 accounts that were allegedly controlled by the local government.
JUST OUT: We took down a troll farm in Nicaragua, run by the Nicaraguan government and the FSLN party. Our teamâs research here: https://t.co/ipV7pdvse2
The Meta officials said the troll accounts attempted to manipulate public opinion using fake news to strengthen the positions of the ruling party and “mislead people about who's behind them.” It was a full-time job for moderators to make fake posts on a daily basis.
The accounts were moderated by the telecoms regulator, the Supreme Court, and Nicaragua President Ortega administration. Meta shut down 937 accounts, 140 pages and 24 groups, as well as 363 Instagram accounts.
However, some Nicaragua activists and media claimed that they were real users nevertheless their accounts were suspended as well.
Insane! Facebook/Instagram falsely claimed left-wing Nicaraguans are govt-run bots, censoring them. So they posted videos on Twitter showing they're real. But now Twitter is suspending them too!
The blocking of accounts comes ahead of the upcoming presidential elections as the President's main contender has been jailed.
The EU's foreign policy head Josep Borell called Nicaragua "one of the worst dictatorships in the world".
The troll campaign apparently was launched in 2018 and spread across various social networks such as Tik Tok and Twitter. Nicaragua faced a mass protest that year and Ortega’s government repressed the opposition, killing at least 300 and imprisoning hundreds of people.
Many people were forced to flee the country after the protest was clamped down.