Facebook pulls down over 800 pages, accounts ahead of midterm elections

Facebook is cracking down on inauthentic accounts and spam ahead of the US midterm elections.

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Facebook said Thursday it pulled down more than 800 pages and accounts that posted sensational political content for violating its rules against spam and “inauthentic behavior” ahead of the US midterm elections.

“The bulk of the inauthentic activity we see on Facebook is spam that’s typically motivated by money, not politics. And the people behind it are adapting their behavior as our enforcement improves,” Facebook head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher and product manager Oscar Rodriguez wrote in a blog post. 

The social media giant said it removed 559 Pages and 251 accounts for running afoul of its rules. Facebook said some of these accounts were ad farms that posed as political debate forums. Others would use fake likes and shares so their content would show up higher in the social network’s News Feed. 

Some of the accounts included conservative news sites such as Right Wing News, which has more than 3.1 million followers, and left-wing groups such as Resistance and Reverb Press, according to The New York Times.

Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users worldwide, has been under pressure by lawmakers to protect the integrity of elections. 

This story is still developing…

First published Oct. 11, 11:34 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:01 p.m. PT
: Includes more details about Facebook’s rationale. 

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