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Pakistan’s ‘penniless billionaires’ expose money laundering frenzy

KARACHI: It took rickshaw driver Mohammad Rasheed a year to save 300 rupees to buy his daughter a bike, so when he found three billion rupees ($22.5 million) had passed through an unused bank account in his name, he was stunned ... and scared. "I started sweating and shivering," said the 43-year-old  -- just the latest victim of a money laundering scheme that Pakistan's new prime minister, Imran Khan, has vowed to crush. When he got a call from the Federal Investigation Agency, Rasheed's first inclination…

Facebook shuts down 251 accounts to thwart deception

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook on Thursday said it shut down 251 accounts for breaking rules against spam and coordinated deceit, some of it by ad farms pretending to be forums for political debate. The move came as the leading social network strives to prevent the platform from being used to sow division and spread misinformation ahead of US elections in November. Facebook removed 559 pages and 251 accounts that consistently violated rules against spam and "coordinated inauthentic behavior," according to an online post by…

Facebook and Twitter delete hundreds of fake accounts linked to Iran and Russia

LOS ANGELES: Facebook and Twitter have taken down hundreds of fake accounts and pages linked to Iran and Russia after finding a series of campaigns aimed at meddling in UK and US politics. The Iranian accounts targeted internet users in Britain and America and were followed by more than million users. They bought thousands of dollars worth of adverts in what researchers said was an attempt to spread pro-Iranian messages. Facebook revealed on Tuesday night that it had suspended 652 pages, groups and accounts across…

Twitter shares fall after report of account suspensions goes public

CALIFORNIA: Shares of Twitter Inc fell 9 percent on Monday after a report said the social media company had suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, which could lead to a decline of monthly active users in the second quarter. The slump wiped about $3 billion from the microblogging site’s market valuation, which had stood at about $35 billion on Friday. Twitter shares were last down 8.6 percent at $42.62. “Such reaction is due likely to the assumption that the lower user count would attract less ad…

‘Facebook can influence 2018 polls’-LHC moved for closure of fake accounts

LAHORE: A petition seeking directives for the federal authorities and the Election Commission of Pakistan to approach Mark Zukerberg, the CEO of Facebook, to get fake accounts blocked was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday. The petition seeks weeding out of fake accounts in an effort to thwart any designs to influence the upcoming polls. It states the CEO of Facebook testified before a joint hearing of the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee that fake…

Facebook disrupts international fake account operation

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook on Friday said it disrupted an international fake account operation that was firing off inauthentic "likes" and bogus comments to win friends it would then pound with spam. Facebook's security team spent six months fighting to neutralize what they saw as a coordinated campaign, according to Shabnam Shaik, a company security manager. "Our systems were able to identify a large portion of this illegitimate activity -- and to remove a substantial number of inauthentic likes," Shaik said in a blog…

Facebook looking at ‘users behavior’ to weed out fake accounts

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook on Wednesday said it has started weeding out bogus accounts by watching for suspicious behavior such as repetitive posts or torrents of messages. The security improvement was described as being part of a broader effort to rid the leading social network of hoaxes, misinformation, and fake news by making sure people are who they claim to be. "We've found that when people represent themselves on Facebook the same way they do in real life, they act responsibly," Shabnam Shaik of the Facebook protect…