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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)

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Facebook Still Hosting NZ Shooting Footage: Report

Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Despite Facebook’s claim that the livestreaming video of the March 15 Christchurch shooting that killed 50 people was removed from its platforms, sections of the raw footage are still available for users to watch, the media reported.

According to a report in Motherboard on Friday, certain videos on Facebook and Instagram show sections of the raw attack footage.

“The world’s biggest and most well-resourced social media network is still hosting copies of the violent attack video on its own platform as well as Instagram,” the report claimed.

Some of the videos are slices of the original 17-minute clip — trimmed down to one minute or so — and are open to be viewed by anyone.

In one instance, instead of removing the video, which shows the terrorist shooting and murdering innocent civilians from a first-person perspective, Facebook has simply marked the clip as potentially containing “violent or graphic content”.

One of the clips shows the terrorist walking up to the first mosque he targeted, and opening fire. The video does not show the full attack, and stops at the 01:15 mark.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

A Facebook spokesperson, however, said “the video did violate our policies and has been removed”.

The Facebook livestreaming of the New Zealand terror attack sparked global outrage. The video was viewed over 4,000 times before it was removed.

The video was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

Also Read- Jack Dorsey Admits Twitter Makes it Easy to Abuse Others

Facing flak, the social media giant is now exploring restrictions on who can use its “Facebook Live” feature.

Earlier this month, New Zealand’s privacy commissioner John Edwards labelled Facebook as “morally bankrupt pathological liars” after the social media platform’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to play down the Facebook livestreaming of Christchurch shooting. (IANS)