Facebook removes 200 pages, groups, and accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior
Facebook announced that it has removed about 200 pages, groups, and accounts both on Instagram and Facebook in the Philippines for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior”.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s Head of Cybersecurity Policy, stated that through their investigation, they found out that a combination of authentic and fake accounts was made to disseminate content across pages and groups. Steps were taken by these individuals to conceal their identities; however, after much investigation, Facebook found that the pages, groups, and accounts traced back to a network organized by a specific individual named Nic Gabunada.
The social networking platform purged about 67 pages, 68 Facebook accounts, 40 groups, and 25 Instagram accounts. One or more of the pages had 3.6 million followers, while at 1.8 million accounts joined one or more of the groups taken down. Facebook also noted that around USD 59,000 (PHP 3,099,004) was used in spending for ads on the platform. The ads were paid in Philippine peso, Saudi riyal, and US dollars.
Some of the pages that were taken down include:
- Bong Go Supporters
- Duterte Warriors
- Trending Now
- Kuya Sonny Angara
- Pinulungang Binisaya
Facebook justified the removal of the pages, groups, and accounts based on their behavior of coordinating activities with each other and using fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and not due to the content they posted.