Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook announced on Thursday that it shut down an Israeli network of accounts that spread misinformation and focused on an attempt to disrupt elections and influence individuals in Africa as well as Southeast Asia and Latin America. Facebook linked some of the malicious action to a commercial entity known as Archimedes Group, which it banned from its platform.

Why it matters: Efforts to manipulate Facebook users are becoming more evident around the world. Today’s report suggests that these campaigns are looking to target new areas in Africa and Southeast Asia that typically receive less attention in the "fake news" conversation.

  • The targeted areas are more mobile-dependent than other developed countries, and those populations tend to be more reliant on Facebook and Facebook-owner WhatsApp for news.
  • To date, most of the uncovered incidents of coordinated inauthentic behavior have originated from Russia, Ukraine and Iran and have targeted the U.S., Brazil and the Baltic states.

By the numbers: Facebook found that Archimedes Group paid approximately $812,000 for fake ads on its platform, some of which were still active last month. The first ad reportedly ran in December 2012. Facebook has now deleted 65 accounts, 161 pages, 23 groups, 12 events, and 4 Instagram accounts associated with Archimedes Group.

  • Some members of Archimedes pretended to be local news organizations that "published allegedly leaked information about politicians," according to Facebook.

Buzz: The company sells a software package with "mass social media campaign and automation tools."

Go deeper: 2018 study found most of Twitter's 2016 fake-news sources still active

Go deeper

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.