As we get closer to the 2020 US Presidential Elections in November, many eyes will be on social media platforms and how they police misinformation during that time. Facebook in particular will attract a lot of attention, especially as Russian influence has repeatedly been cited as influencing the 2016 elections.
In recent weeks Facebook has been taking measures to prevent this, or any such allegations from happening again, and the latest step has to remove a number of fake accounts that originated from Russia.
The social media platform terms the actions of such fake accounts as coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB).
Facebook explains that in each case where a fake account was suspected to be involved, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used their accounts as a central part of their operations to mislead people about who they are and what they are doing, which was the basis for our action, according to the company.
“We removed 214 Facebook users, 35 Pages, 18 Groups and 34 Instagram accounts for violating our policy against foreign or government interference which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government entity,” writes Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Security Policy at Facebook in a blog post.
“This activity originated in Russia and focused primarily on Syria and Ukraine, and to a lesser extent on Turkey, Japan, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, and Moldova A small portion of this activity focused on the UK and the US,” he adds.
Diving deeper into its findings, Facebook also notes that these fake accounts tried to position themselves as trusted media sources.
“They used fake accounts to create elaborate fictitious personas across many internet services, posing as journalists to contact news organizations, purporting to be locals in countries they targeted, and managing Groups and Pages, some of which proclaimed to be hacktivist groups,” the company adds.
Facebook also shared examples of the posts these fake accounts used recently, which you can view here, along with the other findings of its recent CIB-related takedowns.