Call for SNP to investigate Yes groups on Facebook

A pro independence Facebook page was one of hundreds of fake accounts linked to Iran. Pictures: TSPL/Creative Commons
A pro independence Facebook page was one of hundreds of fake accounts linked to Iran. Pictures: TSPL/Creative Commons
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The SNP have been challenged to look into the online activities of pro-independence Facebook groups after the social media giant shut down a pro-Yes page it found to have been backed by Iran.

A senior Scottish Tory has urged Nicola Sturgeon’s party to investigate the issue to determine whether other pro-independence groups operating on social media are potential fakes.

‘Free Scotland 2014’, a page which was followed by 20,000, was removed from Facebook this week after the site’s moderators found it was funded in Iran.

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It was among over 600 accounts and pages linked with Governments for ‘co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour’.

READ MORE: Facebook removes pro-indy page due to Iran links

Murdo Fraser MSP told the Courier: “The revelation that the Free Scotland 2014 page – which had more than 20,000 followers – was a fake account backed by the Iranian state is incredible, and deeply worrying.

“From the US election to the independence referendum drive, we are all beginning to learn that democracy is under attack from countries like Russian and Iran who want to weaken us.

“The SNP has a choice; either pander to these disgraceful regimes - or stand up to this threat and assist Facebook by investigating pro-independence online outlets with which it has a connection to verify that they are what they claim to be.”

A spokesman for the SNP said: “We’re pleased to see Facebook now taking steps to actively banning fake accounts.”