Facebook has reportedly removed over 2,600 pages, groups, and accounts for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” in attempts to fight fake news on the platform.
Business Insider reports that social media giant Facebook has removed 2,632 pages, groups, and accounts from their platform in an attempt to fight fake news on the platform. Three distinct operations originating in Russia, Iran, Kosovo, and Macedonia were identified by Facebook with the Russian operation being the largest. The Iranian and Kosovan-Macedonian operations reportedly spent a total of $20,800 combined on Facebook ads since 2013.
The Russian operation on the platform ran a total of 1,907 pages, groups, and accounts producing spam although some Russian-operated pages produced content relating to Ukraine. Much of the content produced echoed regular spam messages seen across social media, one post reads: “Urgent! We are looking for candidates for the role of an information manager. FOR WOMEN! Work is remote and in your spare time, career opportunities. If you want to earn, you are from 18 to 60 y.o., you have average computer skills and internet access, then leave +++ in the comments or reach out in pm.”
One of the groups reportedly had as many as 1.7 million members. The Iranian network was the second largest operation with 513 pages, groups, and accounts most of which were political in nature; the network did, however, also create fake media organizations and sometimes pose as legitimate ones or real-life political groups. The Iranian network attempted to amplify a number of issues and messages such as sanction against Iran and tensions between Israel and Palestine. The Iranian network spent $15,000 ads since 2013. The Kosovian network also spent around $5,800 on ads since 2013.