Home World News Meta Probe Uncovers China Role In Running Fake Khalistani Accounts

Meta Probe Uncovers China Role In Running Fake Khalistani Accounts


A 33-page Adversarial Threat Report issued by Meta and authored by five people including its head of public affairs and security Margarita Franklin, has highlighted a “Deceptive network from China (which) shared poster images – likely generated using AI – for a fictitious pro-Sikh activist movement called Operation K.”

Meta says “We removed 37 Facebook accounts, 13 Pages, 5 Groups and nine accounts on Instagram for violating our policy against coordinated inauthentic behaviour. This network originated in China and targeted the global Sikh community including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, the UK, and Nigeria.”

It says such activity targeted multiple services including Meta’s own Telegram and X. It included “several clusters of fake accounts including one with links to an unattributed CIB (Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour) network from China targeting India and the Tibet region that we disrupted in early 2023.”

The report noted that some of these clusters “amplified one another … to make this campaign appear more popular than it was.”

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The operation involved compromised and fake accounts – some of which were disabled by automated systems prior to investigation – to pose as Sikhs, post content and manage Pages and Groups.

“They appeared to have created a fictitious activist movement called Operation K which called for pro-Sikh protests, including in New Zealand and Australia. We found and removed this activity.”

The posts were primarily in English and Hindi, the report says, containing news, and images likely manipulated by photo editing tools or generated by artificial intelligence.  There were also posts about floods in Punjab, the Khalistan independence movement, the assassination of Khalistan activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and criticism of the Indian government.

The investigation adds another layer to India’s concern about Khalistani groups.  Pakistan is not the only country providing succour to them. China is also doing so, and suggests they could be working in tandem.