Just in time for midterms, Facebook has removed 559 pages and 251 accounts they claim have been spreading misinformation and spam. Several of the pages however – some with millions of followers, were pro-Trump conservatives who had spent years cultivating their followings.
Facebook has unpublished our page
After 5 years of building fans Facebook has officially unpublished our page (3.1 million fans) so we can’t post on it anymore. This is truly an outrage and we are devastated. We will do everything we can to recover our page and fight back. pic.twitter.com/H3AmHTT8Qo
— Free Thought Project (@TFTPROJECT) October 11, 2018
I’ve been memory holed from FaceBook! 350k followers poof gone! There is a dangerous precedent being set here where the big tech companies have appointed themselves as the gate keepers of political thought and opinion! Retweet this if you care about free-speech! #FreeDicks pic.twitter.com/LsnZvaJyOL
— Dan Dicks (@DanDicksPFT) 11 October 2018
— Anti-Media (@AntiMedia) October 11, 2018
Facebook claims that “domestic actors” have been creating “fake pages and accounts to attract people with shocking political news,” reports Bloomberg.
“The people behind the activity also post the same clickbait posts in dozens of Facebook Groups, often hundreds of times in a short period, to drum up traffic for their websites,” Facebook said in a Thursday blog post. “And they often use their fake accounts to generate fake likes and shares. This artificially inflates engagement for their inauthentic pages and the posts they share, misleading people about their popularity and improving their ranking in news feed.”
Some pages Facebook removed had large followings of real and fake accounts. Nation in Distress, a conservative meme page, was followed by more than 3 million people, according to the Internet Archive, which stores historical versions of websites and other online content. –Bloomberg
Facebook has removed “559 Pages and 251 accounts” in the US “that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” They include:
-Nation in Distress
-Reasonable People Unite
-Right Wing News
— Craig Silverman (@CraigSilverman) 11 October 2018