Facebook owner Meta Platforms has removed more than 500 accounts linked to an online disinformation network primarily based in China.
The accounts had promoted the claims of a fake Swiss biologist called “Wilson Edwards”, who alleged the US was meddling in efforts to find the origins of Covid-19.
Edwards’ comments had been widely carried by Chinese state media outlets.
However, the Swiss embassy said that it was unlikely this person existed.
Meta said in its report the social media campaign was “largely unsuccessful,” and targeted English-speaking audiences in the United States and Britain and Chinese-speaking audiences in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet.
Earlier in July, an account posing as a Swiss biologist called Wilson Edwards had made statements on Facebook and Twitter that the United States was applying pressure on the World Health Organization scientists who were studying the origins of Covid-19 in an attempt to blame the virus on China.
State media outlets, including CGTN, Shanghai Daily and Global Times, had cited the so-called biologist based on his Facebook profile.