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Social Media Giant Facebook Shuts Down Thousands of Fake Pages, Accounts

The company pulled 513 Pages, Groups and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour as part of multiple networks tied to Iran

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Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Facebook has removed 2,632 Pages, Groups and accounts that were engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior from Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo on its platform, as well as on Instagram.

The social media platform said it did not 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.

“We removed 1,907 Facebook Pages, Groups and accounts for engaging in spam — and a small portion of these engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior — linked to Russia,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, said in a blog post late Tuesday.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The individuals behind these activities used fake accounts primarily to operate Groups and Pages posting spam content.

“A small number of these posted content related to Ukrainian news and politics, including the ongoing conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine; local and regional politics; Ukrainian patriotism; refugee issues; Ukrainian military; the situation in Crimea; and corruption,” Facebook elaborated.

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The company pulled 513 Pages, Groups and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour as part of multiple networks tied to Iran.

“Finally, we removed 212 Facebook Pages, Groups and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Macedonia and Kosovo,” the company added. (IANS)

Next Story

US Judge Orders Facebook to Disclose Malicious Apps’ Data: Report

The social networking giant found that the apps -- primarily social media management and video streaming apps -- retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface)

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

As part of a probe ordered in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users, a US judge has ordered Facebook to hand over data of thousands of apps that violated its user privacy.

Facebook admitted last year that it suspended “tens of thousands” of apps for possible privacy violations.

A Massachusetts judge rejected the social networking giant’s attempts to withhold the key details from state investigators, The Washington Post said in a report on Friday.

“We are disappointed that the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Court didn’t fully consider our arguments on well-established law. We are reviewing our options, including appeal,” a Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone was quoted as saying in the report.

Maura Healey, the Democratic Attorney General of Massachusetts, said: “We are pleased that the Court ordered Facebook to tell our office which other app developers may have engaged in conduct like Cambridge Analytica.”

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The state of Massachusetts launched the probe last September after Facebook admitted that it had suspended “tens of thousands” of apps on its platform as a result of its review on privacy practices launched following the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

The review, launched in 2018, followed revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users and included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a Facebook statement.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in a record-breaking, $5 billion fine for Facebook from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

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In November 2019, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface). (IANS)