Los Angeles, Aug 1: Facebook announced on Tuesday that it eliminated 32 accounts for what the company described as “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” ahead of the mid-term US congressional elections in November.
“This kind of behaviour is not allowed on Facebook because we don’t want people or organisations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they’re doing,” Facebook wrote in a statement.
The social network founded by Mark Zuckerberg found itself at the center of controversy during the 2016 presidential election for the use of its platform to disseminate hoaxes and fake news.
“We’re still in the very early stages of our investigation and don’t have all the facts – including who may be behind this,” Facebook acknowledged, while adding that “whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past.”
IRA is accused by Facebook and the US Department of Justice of having played a key role in the campaign of hoaxes and fake news on controversial and divisive issues designed to try to influence the 2016 election in which Donald Trump won the White House.
In the current probe, the tech giant eliminated eight Facebook pages and 17 profiles, as well as seven Instagram accounts.
“In total, more than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of these pages, the earliest of which was created in March 2017,” said Facebook.
Among the deleted pages was one called “Resisters,” which had created a Facebook Event – “No Unite the Right 2-DC” – a counterdemonstration to Unite the Right 2-DC, which had been called by the ultraright for Aug. 12 in Washington.