Meta, the owner of Facebook, announced on Thursday that it had eliminated multiple accounts and pages connected to the ruling Awami League in Bangladesh due to 'coordinated inauthentic behaviour', particularly targeting the opposition in advance of the January elections.

Following the January 7 parliamentary elections, which saw the near-total victory of the Awami League and its allies due to the main opposition's boycott over concerns of electoral manipulation, social media platforms, particularly Facebook, were inundated with misinformation primarily aimed at the key opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

In the first quarter of this year, Facebook removed '50 accounts and 98 pages' for breaching its policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior, with some of these accounts boasting millions of followers. According to Meta, certain accounts masqueraded as established news organizations in Bangladesh, falsely claiming to support the opposition while concurrently disseminating critical content about them.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in power since 2009, secured her fourth consecutive term in January amid allegations of electoral irregularities and widespread human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and a brutal crackdown on the opposition.

Meta revealed that the Bengali-language accounts and pages in question shared news reports about Bangladesh and the elections, as well as propagated 'criticism of the BNP, allegations of BNP's corruption and its role in pre-election violence,' while also presenting 'supportive commentary about the incumbent government.'