Ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections, Facebook on Monday said that it has removed 687 pages and accounts associated with the IT cell of the Congress party. The step was taken as part of Facebook’s crack down on fake as well as spam accounts.
According to Facebook, its investigation found that individuals used fake accounts and joined various groups to disseminate their content and increase engagement. Their posts included local news and criticism of political opponents such as PM Narendra Modi’s BJP.
Notably, the government had warned social media platforms including Faceook of strong action if any attempt was made to influence the country’s general election process through undesirable means.
“When we remove one of these pages and accounts, the reason we remove them is because of their coordinated inauthentic behaviour, that they are using network of fake accounts to conceal their identity… to mislead who’s behind them. That’s the basic reason for removal,” said Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher.
Speaking on the steps taken prior to the removal of the pages, Gleicher said, “We have reached out to the INC to educate them about what we have seen and answer questions they have. We have also reached out to policy makers and government to ensure that they understand the types of behaviour we are seeing and what we are learning.
Meanwhile, no comments could be obtained from the Congress as of now regarding the issue.