The social media giant, Facebook took a decisive step by removing over 687 pages and accounts that were linked to users associated with Congress party’s IT cell ahead of the general elections. Facebook has also removed 15 Facebook pages, groups and accounts that were actually linked to users associated with an Indian IT firm called ‘Silver Touch’.
In a statement, Facebook mentioned that these accounts and pages were taken off because their content breached any company policy as they used fake accounts to share information. “We are constantly working to detect and stop coordinated inauthentic behaviour because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people.
We’re taking down these pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted. In each case detailed below, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action,” the company said in a statement on a Monday afternoon.
As per the company’s analysis, the users behind this activity used “fake accounts” and joined several groups to circulate their content and increased engagement on their own pages.
“The page admins and account owners typically posted about local news and political issues, including topics like the upcoming elections, candidate views, the INC and criticism of political opponents including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
While the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our review found that it was connected to individuals associated with an INC IT Cell,” the company said.
The accounts and pages that were removed had a reach of over 200,000, spending nearly $40,000 for running advertisements, the most recent of which ran in March 2019.
Meanwhile a Twitter user, after reacting to the news, slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for deleting the pages linked to Congress. He went on to call Mark a “Modi Bhakt”.
Mark Zuckerberg, shame on you. You have deleted our pages. You are also a Modi bhakt
— Abhishek Sikarwar (@flashabhishek) April 3, 2019