World / Facebook removes 200 Pages, accounts in Philippines

The Quint : Mar 29, 2019, 03:12 PM

Manila, March 29 (IANS) Facebook said it has removed 200 Pages, Groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour on the platform and on its photo-sharing app Instagram in the Philippines.

"We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don't want our services to be used to manipulate people. We're taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they posted.

"In this case, the people behind the activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action," Nathaniel Gleicher, Head, Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook wrote in a blog post on Friday.

From Facebook, as many as 67 Pages, 68 accounts and 40 Groups were removed while 25 Instagram accounts were blocked.

About 3.6 million accounts followed one or more of these Pages, about 1.8 million accounts joined at least one of these Groups and around 5,300 accounts followed one or more of these Instagram accounts.

The individuals behind this activity used a combination of authentic and fake accounts to disseminate content across a variety of Pages and Groups.

They frequently posted about local and political news, including topics like the upcoming elections, candidate updates and views, alleged misconduct of political opponents, and controversial events that were purported to occur during previous administrations.

The people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, but Facebook's investigation found that this activity was linked to a network organised by Nic Gabunada.

Earlier this week, the social media giant removed 2,632 Pages, Groups and accounts that were engaged in coordinated inauthentic behaviour from Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo on its platform and Instagram.