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Facebook shuts down ‘spammy’ politics pages

Facebook has removed more than 800 pages and accounts that sought to profit from politically themed spam.

In a blog, Facebook said the 559 pages and 251 accounts abused the network to try to make people visit sites that make money from adverts.

Scammers no longer sent messages about disasters or celebrities, it said, but used politics to generate traffic.

The action has drawn criticism from some accounts that said they were legitimate activists.

Big audience

Facebook said it had removed networks of pages created by fake accounts. It also removed accounts with the same name. The same people running these “inauthentic” pages also posted “clickbait” messages to many Facebook groups to drum up traffic, it said.

“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,” said the blog.

Before now, Facebook had struggled to pick out these pages and accounts because the posts and information they shared were similar to those seen on legitimate political sites.

Instead of analysing content, Facebook looked at the behaviour of the pages to see which ones used fake accounts and posted spam. This helped it spot which ones had “consistently broken our rules against spam and co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour”.

 

Credit: BBC

October 12, 2018

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