Facebook purged over 800 accounts and pages pushing political messages for profit
Facebook said that it has purged more than 800 US publishers and accounts for flooding users with politically oriented content that violated the company’s spam policies, a move that could reignite accusations of political censorship. The accounts and pages, with names such as Reasonable People Unite and Reverb Press, were probably domestic actors using clickbait headlines and other spammy tactics to drive users to websites where they could target them with ads, the company said. Some had hundreds of thousands of followers and expressed a range of political viewpoints, including a page that billed itself as “the first publication to endorse President Donald J. Trump.” They did not appear to have ties to Russia, company officials said.
Facebook said it was not removing the publishers and accounts because of the type of content they posted but because of the behaviors they engaged in, including spamming Facebook groups with identical pieces of content, unauthorized coordination and using fake profiles. But the move to target US politically oriented sites, just weeks before the congressional midterms, is sure to be a flash point for political groups and their allies, who are already accusing the tech giant of political bias and arbitrary censorship of political content.
Facebook purged over 800 accounts and pages pushing political messages for profit Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook (Facebook) Facebook is removing hundreds of American accounts spamming political misinformation (Vox)