Facebook has identified a private Israel-based influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has cancelled dozens of accounts that engaged in spreading disinformation.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters the tech giant had purged 65 accounts, 161 pages and dozens of groups.

He said they primarily posed as political candidates and peddled fake news about elections, mostly in Sub-Saharan African countries, and with some scattered activity in Southeast Asia.

Facebook uploads users’ email contacts
The Facebook logo on a laptop (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The pages racked up 2.8 million followers and hundreds of thousands of views.

He said Facebook has banned Archimedes, an Israeli company that was behind the influence campaign.

Facebook has faced pressure to more transparently tackle misinformation since the revelation that Russia used Facebook to sway the 2016 US presidential election.