Facebook shuts down over 200 pro-Saddam Hussein pages

The 206 pro-Saddam pages “had significant followings and high engagement.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Social networking website Facebook has removed over 200 profiles which promoted and glorified former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

In a statement Facebook Newsroom published on Tuesday, the social media giant said it “removed multiple Pages, Groups, and accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram.”

The statement said 76 accounts, 120 Facebook Pages, one Group, two Events, and seven Instagram accounts were shut down “for engaging in domestic-focused coordinated inauthentic behavior in Iraq.”

According to Facebook, the page administrators and owners often posted content about domestic political and societal issues in Iraq, including Kurdish-Iraqi politics and posts about Saddam Hussein and “the state of the military under the Saddam rule.”

The Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab), a global network of digital forensic analysts to combat disinformation, said in a tweet on Tuesday that the 206 pro-Saddam pages “had significant followings and high engagement.”

The content was removed from Facebook as part of a crackdown against “disinformation campaigns,” Facebook said.

At the height of its brutal reign, the former Iraqi regime was responsible for countless acts of war crimes against minority groups in Iraq and Kurds in the autonomous Kurdistan Region.

Hussein was eventually overthrown and sentenced to death by hanging following the US liberation of Iraq in 2003.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the Iraqi Parliament voted to overturn the legal immunity of controversial MP Faiq al-Sheikh Ali for his glorification of the Ba’ath Party, which ruled Iraq for decades that saw the brutal oppression of many components of the country, including genocide against the Kurds.