Facebook's fight against fake accounts and spam continued Thursday as the social networking giant removed 559 Facebook Pages and 251 Facebook accounts over breaking the site's rules for "spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior."
"Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites," wrote Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy and Oscar Rodriguez, a Facebook product manager, in a blog post announcing the latest purge.
"Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate."
These bad actors, Facebook said, would post the "same clickbait posts in dozens of Facebook Groups, often hundreds of times in a short period" in a bid to drum up traffic for their websites, get higher priority for their content on the company's News Feed and boost the engagement for their fake Facebook Pages and posts, making the content seem more "popular on Facebook than it really was."
The social network did not disclose the motivations in the post, but says that given the proximity to the U.S. midterm elections it "wanted to give some details about the types of behavior that led to this action."
Thursday's reveal is the latest in a spate of troubling Facebook news as it tries to fight off negative perceptions about its platform. Late last month the company said 50 million users were breached in a hack.
Following that disclosure Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called for a probe into the breach, saying in a statement that the hack was "another sobering indicator that Congress needs to step up and take action to protect the privacy and security of social media users."
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