Facebook has announced today that they are taking actions against hundreds of Pages and accounts that have repeatedly broken rules its rules around spam and “coördinated inauthentic behavior.”
In total, the company has acted by removing more than 550 Pages and over 250 accounts today for spamming users with unsolicited links and clickbats with political content.
Facebook initiated this action of removing more inauthentic activity ahead of next month’s mid-term elections in the US.
Removed Pages and accounts say Facebook demonstrated “coördinated unprofessional behavior”, such as working together to show the page more popular than reality.
Most of the spammers were using fake accounts or multiple accounts using same names to spread a massive amount of ‘sensational political content’ across a network of Groups and Pages. These were designed to build a larger audience, generate fake likes, share, boost ranking in News Feed and take people to their websites.
These sites though look legitimate but are actually ad farms filled with advertising with a sole purpose of earning money.
Facebook said that these Pages and accounts included content from both parties of political ideology. And, the “news” stories or opinions published by them is often “indistinguishable “from the legitimate political debate.
In the past, spammers have often been focusing on topics including celebrity gossip and weight loss measures etc. to generate clickbait.
Facebook looks for factors like “fake accounts” or “repeated spam posting” when making decisions to remove these accounts, Pages or Groups.
Adding, it said the more it gets better at uncovering this type of abuse, “the people behind it will change their tactics to evade detection” – whether “economically or politically motivated.”
In order to make the network more inclusive for people to share, feel safe and trust their connection, Facebook says, it will keep investing heavily to bring better technology to fight this inauthentic activity that’s typically motivated by money and not politics.
Earlier this year, Facebook has implemented a policy banning “coördinated inauthentic behavior” on many Pages, Groups and accounts specifically created to stir up political debate in the US, the Middle East, Russia, and the UK.