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Facebook removes accounts originating from Iran that targeted Princess Eugenie

Facebook has removed accounts originating from Iran which target Princess Eugenie. It has taken down 51 accounts, 36 pages, seven groups and three Instagrams, which were producing “coordinated inauthentic behaviour.” Around 21,000 people followed at least one of the page involved, according to Facebook.

Among the photos on the accounts was a photo from Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank with homeless people edited into the images. It claims that Princess Eugenie “expects the taxpayer to subsidise her dream wedding, while food banks are overrun”, and was intended to stir up tensions.

Princess Eugenie has been the victim of online trolling in the past, and in December 2016 her mother Sarah, Duchess of York, asked people to stop bullying her daughters. “Let’s focus more on this and less on tittle-tattle gossip. Stop bullying the York family, please,” Sarah said at a Teenage Cancer Trust event.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity, said: “We’re constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people.

“Policy, as is always the case with these takedowns, is we’re removing these pages, groups and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted.

“Based on a tip shared by FireEye, a US cybersecurity firm, we conducted an internal investigation into suspected Iran-linked coordinated inauthentic behaviour and identified this activity.

“We’ve shared our analysis with law enforcement, policymakers and industry partners.”

Princess Eugenie is the daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York. Born in 1990, she is the younger sister of Princess Beatrice of York. She married Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 12 October 2018 and is tenth in the line of succession to the British throne.

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