Facebook is taking down hundreds of United States-based accounts and pages, many of which spread sensational political misinformation, for breaking the company’s terms against “inauthentic” content and spam.
The company said in a blog post that 559 pages and 251 accounts would be removed. While the accounts used “sensational political content,” Facebook did not say that was the reason for the purge. Instead, the accounts and pages will be taken down after they had “consistently broken” the company’s “rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Facebook noted that many used strategies like posting on fake or multiple accounts to generate traffic, or to inflate their popularity.
Still, Facebook noted the proximity to the US midterm elections, and said that some of the networks “were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.”
“Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites,” the company said. “Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was.”
The removal included accounts like Right Wing News, which The New York Times reports posted false stories about Christine Blasey Ford following her testimony at the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.