Facebook removed 800 pages and accounts for spreading fake news

In order to fight against false information, Facebook announced yesterday that it has deleted more than 800 pages and accounts. The company claims to have deleted 559 pages and 251 accounts for dissemination of misinformation, political spam and non-genuine activity.

Facebook's chief cybersecurity officer Nathaniel Gleicher states :

People must be able to trust the connections that they make on Facebook. That's why we have a policy that prohibits coordinated inauthentic behavior – networks of accounts or Pages working to deceive others about who they are and what they do.

Facebook product manager Oscar Rodriguez said the mid-term elections in the United States had been instrumental in removing these pages and accounts.

The company stated that many people were creating fake pages and fake accounts to publish deceptive content, leading victims to advertising farms (websites intentionally flooded with commercials and of a click-bait). Facebook pointed out that in the past these networks used celebrity rumors and natural disasters as a material for clickbait.

But now they are turning to political content to drive traffic to their websites. Facebook said that these networks published fake content on multiple pages and groups to garner clicks. He added that the company was increasingly identifying politically or economically fueled campaigns that abuse Facebook's policy.

Facebook also deleted 66 accounts and pages managed by a Russian company allegedly selling user data. The company has many programs targeting elections around the world, including the mid-term US elections and the Indian elections of 2019 to fight false information.

It will be interesting to see if this measure will have an impact on regular users who are inclined to participate in political discussions.

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