Facebook removes 2,632 pages, groups and accounts in latest crackdown

Facebook removes 2,632 pages, groups and accounts in latest crackdown

- Facebook said it has removed 2,632 Facebook pages, groups and accounts from its platforms, including Instagram

- The social media giant said the accounts were deleted for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”

- Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s Head of Cybersecurity Policy, said the company constantly working to ensure its services are not used to manipulate people

The social media giant, Facebook, announced on Tuesday, March 26, it has removed 2,632 Facebook pages, groups and accounts that “engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour” on both Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook’s Head of Cybersecurity Policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, wrote on the company’s website: "Today we removed 2,632 Pages, Groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour on Facebook and Instagram. The operations we found were connected to Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo. We didn’t find any links between these sets of activities, but they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing.

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“We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people. We’re taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted. In each case, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action.”

Most of the accounts were removed for spamming, according to the statement. Some of the accounts were set up to spread content related to political issues and conflicts.

The social media network added that so far, it has “removed 513 pages, groups and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour as part of multiple networks tied to Iran.”

“They operated in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kashmir, Kazakhstan or broadly across the Middle East and North Africa. The Page administrators and account owners represented themselves as locals and made-up media entities, often using fake accounts – and they impersonated real political groups and media organizations.

“They posted news stories on current events and frequently repurposed and amplified content from Iranian state media about topics including sanctions against Iran; tensions between India and Pakistan; conflicts in Syria and Yemen; terrorism; tensions between Israel and Palestine; Islamic religious issues; Indian politics; and the recent crisis in Venezuela. Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our review linked these accounts to Iran."

The network of fake accounts paid roughly $15,000 to purchase Facebook ad space, with the first advertisement running in December 2013 and the last publishing in February. The company also said about 1.4 million accounts followed one or more of these pages.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Facebook had released the number of Nigerians whose data ware used by Cambridge Analytica.

The social media giant said about 78 Nigerian users were directly involved as they installed the app provided by Cambridge Analytica while 271,469 users were potentially impacted.

This was because they are friends to those who would have installed the app elsewhere in the world.

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