Facebook removes 220 pages for ‘misrepresentation, spam’

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Facebook removes 220 pages for ‘misrepresentation, spam’

(philstar.com) – January 11, 2019 – 2:08pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:20 p.m.)  — Social media giant Facebook said that it killed more than 200 pages after it found out that the pages repeatedly violated its policies on misrepresentation and spamming.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of Cybersecurity Policy, said that the social media giant banned Twinmark Media Enterprises and its subsidiaries.

“This organization has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and spam policies—including through coordinated inauthentic behavior, the use of fake accounts, leading people to ad farms, and selling access to Facebook Pages to artificially increase distribution and generate profit,” Gleicher added in a statement.

Facebook banned 220 Facebook Pages, 73 accounts and 29 Instagram pages.

Rappler reported that Facebook Page Trending News Portal is under Twinmark. Twinmark’s website is unaccessible as of this post.

Among the pages removed are Trending Topics Philippines, Daily News PH, Gorgeous Me and Filipino Channel Online, which had the most followers at 10.4 million.

Facebook identified the following pages as those with the highest number of followers among those removed from the platform: 

  • Filipino Channel Online: 10.4 million
  • Gorgeous Me: 5.7 million
  • Unhappy: 4.9 million
  • Text Message: 4.4 million
  • TNP Media: 4.3 million

According to TNP Media’s profile, it aims to “continue delivering fresh, relevant and entertaining content catered to everyday Filipinos who are hungry for news and want to be updated.” Articles published on its website range from politics to entertainment.

Name change after bulding up following

Facebook cited in particular the Trending Topics PH page that, it said, underwent a change in name “after it had built up a large following.”

The change in name essentially changed the page’s subject matter from when it was originally created.

“This is in violation of our Page polices, as it misleads the Pages’ followers,” Gleicher added.

Facebook also noted that Pages under the network share articles “in a coordinated way.”

Probe, purging to continue

Gleicher said that their probe into the accounts started after they learned that Twinmark “was selling admin rights to Facebook pages it had created…to increase distribution and generate profit.”

The Facebook executive said that this is against their spam policy.

Upon deeper probe, their team found that pages and accounts under Twinmark “were engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior, the use of fake accounts.”

Gleicher said with the Facebook team’s continued investigation into networks engaged in such behavior, the people behind them would “evolve their tactics.”

But he assured the public that the social media giant would continue to ban “abuse” on their platform.

In April 2018, Facebook started blocking Pages, including pro-Duterte websites that were suspected of peddling fake news.

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Facebook has been battling widespread alarm amid issues on the company’s efforts to protect users’ data, as well as accusations that the platform was used as a tool to influence elections and imperil democracies through the spread of false and divisive news.

Bloomberg in 2017 reported that the social media giant’s “political team” allegedly trained the camp of President Rodrigo Duterte on how to maximize the platform for campaign.