San Francisco (Reuters): Facebook Inc acknowledged on Thursday that it has become a battleground for governments seeking to manipulate public opinion in other countries and outlined new measures it is taking to combat what it calls “information operations” that go well beyond the phenomenon known as fake news.

In a report and summary of response plans on its website on Thursday, Facebook describes well-funded and subtle efforts by nations and other organizations to spread misleading information and falsehoods for geopolitical goals.

These initiatives go much further than posting fake news stories to include amplification - essentially widening the circulation of posts through a variety of means - carried out by government employees or paid professionals, often using fake accounts.

Facebook said its security team would now fight information operations, which it regards as a more complex problem than traditional hackers and scammers, by suspending or deleting false accounts after identifying them with a combination of machine learning and intelligence agency-level analysis.