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Facebook Takes Down Fake Account Network Used To Spread Hate In UK

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Facebook has removed a network of more than 100 accounts and pages for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its social networks — the first time it has done so for UK-based operations seeking to influence British citizens. The operation was spread over Facebook and Instagram and used a network of fake accounts to pose as both far-right activists and their opponents. It ran pages and groups whose names frequently changed in order to drum up more followers and operated fake accounts to engage in hate speech and spread divisive comments on both sides of UK political debate, Facebook says.

The pages, with names like “Anti Far Right Extremists”, “Atheists Research Centre”, and “Politicalized”, attracted about 175,000 followers on Facebook, and a further 4,500 on Instagram, according to the company’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher. The pages shared content from mainstream news sources, such as the BBC and the New York Times, but also shared original content, even including administrators actively engaging in debate with users. “We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people,” Gleicher said. “We’re taking down these pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted. In each of these cases, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action.


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