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Today Facebook cracked down on political spammers:

Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior. Given the activity we’ve seen — and its timing ahead of the US midterm elections — we wanted to give some details about the types of behavior that led to this action. 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. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.

The Washington Post reports that the pages and accounts did not appear to have ties to Russia, and made clear that Facebook’s response was about behavior, not content:

“It is totally reasonable for companies to say if you abuse our mechanisms, we will punish you, even if the individual content is okay,” said Alex Stamos, who resigned as Facebook’s chief security officer this summer and is now a Stanford University professor. “Facebook first reduced the ability to use ads to punish extreme content. Now they are attacking organic recommendation systems, such as the likes and shares used to artificially inflate posts.”

But of course wingnuts are furiously howling “First Amendment!” and say Facebook is launching an ideological purge. With a Knight Foundation investigation finding that 80% of 2016’s busiest fake news Twitter feeds still active, are social media sites still too sluggish in combatting propaganda?


Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.