Facebook has removed hundreds of accounts and pages linked to Indian political parties or the Pakistani military for what the company described as “coordinated inauthentic behavior or spam.” The Facebook or Instagram accounts, pages or groups were detected through internal investigations into account activity in the region before upcoming elections in India.
“These Pages and accounts were engaging in behaviors that expressly violate our policies. This included using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names; impersonating someone else; posting links to malware; and posting massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages in order to drive traffic to websites they are affiliated with in order to make money,” Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a statement.
The social media giant has become much more conscious of user activity after a scandal in which data mining firm Cambridge Analytica used information from tens of millions of Facebook users to manipulate political campaigns in multiple countries, including the United States.
Indian political parties are relying heavily on social media to push forward their agenda in a tough general election that begins April 11, and the issue of fake news remains a major concern.