In a massive crackdown on fake news, social media giant Facebook on Monday said that it has removed 687 pages and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour in India and were linked to individuals associated with an IT Cell of the Congress.
In a statement, Facebook said: “We removed 687 Facebook Pages and accounts — the majority of which had already been detected and suspended by our automated systems — that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour in India and were linked to individuals associated with an IT Cell of the Indian National Congress (INC).”
The social media firm has also removed 103 pages, groups and accounts on both Facebook and Instagram for engaging in similar behaviour as part of a network that originated in Pakistan.
The Page admins and account owners typically posted about local news and political issues including topics like upcoming polls, candidate views, and the criticism of political opponents including the BJP.
Informing about the move, Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher said: “When we remove one of these networks, the reason we remove them is because of their coordinated inauthentic behaviour, that they are using a network of fake accounts to conceal their identity….to mislead who’s behind them. That’s the basic reason for removal.”
Gleicher said that Facebook is constantly working to detect and stop inauthentic behaviour because it does not want its services to be used to manipulate people. “We’re taking down these pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted,” he said. The the majority of the pages that were removed today had already been detected and suspended by automated systems of Facebook.
Besides, Facebook has also removed 15 pages, Groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour in India and were linked to individuals associated with an Indian IT firm, Silver Touch.
It removed 321 pages and accounts that violated its rules against spam. However, these pages were not run by a single or coordinated operation — instead, these were multiple sets of pages and accounts that behaved similarly and violated our policies.