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Searchlight, one of the three weekly newspapers published in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, says it has regained control of its Facebook page, six weeks after it was taken over by hackers.

The publication said on Friday that it regained control of the page just after midday on Thursday.

The company regained control of the page less than 24 hours after describing Meta, owners of Facebook and Instagram, in a press release, as “callous” in its response to the hacking.

“We extend our sincere thanks to everyone who helped or expressed concern over the last six weeks,” Corletha Ollivierre, the newspaper’s editor, said in a press statement.

“We are indebted to our media colleagues and followers in St Vincent and the Grenadines and around the region and world, who brought our plight to the attention of the world, and ultimately the right people at Meta,” Ollivierre said.

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Searchlight had said in an earlier press release that it first noticed unusual activity on its Facebook page on Jan. 31, when all its administrators were logged out, and then denied access to the page. 

“There was no further activity on the page until March 6, when posts of a sexually provocative nature began appearing on the page and in its Facebook stories,” the publication said.

The company did not say how it regained access to the page. 

The company had complained of the same inaction on the part of Meta that triggered a March 5 letter by 41 attorneys general in the United States to the social media giant.

In the letter, the National Association of Attorneys General pointed out to Meta that while account takeovers are not a new phenomenon, “… the frequency and persistence of account takeovers on Meta-owned platforms puts it in a league of its own”.

They said that in 2019, the New York Attorney General’s office received 73 account takeover complaints on Meta platforms.

“That number rose more than tenfold to 783 complaints by the end of 2023. In January 2024 alone, the office received 128 complaints.”

Meanwhile, in Vermont, it increased by 740% from 2022 to 2023, in North Carolina, 330% from 2022 to 2023, in Illinois, by 256% increase from 2022 to 2023, and in Pennsylvania, 270% from 2022 to 2023.

“Such statistics are extremely troubling. The substantial increase in complaints tells us that threat actors are winning the war and running rampant on Meta,” the attorneys general said.