Facebook Cracks Down on Fake News, Anti-US Propaganda; Terminates Suspected Russian Network of Pages
Facebook has roped in the law enforcement agencies to trace the page creators | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Washington, July 31: In a massive crackdown on purported fake news and anti-US propaganda, Facebook on Tuesday said it has pulled down 32 pages which attempted to influence the political mood in the United States. The terminated pages, the social media giant suspects, are linked to the Russian trolls and handlers who allegedly meddled in the US presidential elections 2016.

Among the pages pulled down by the Facebook include 'No Unite The Right 2', which was promoting a rally in Washington to counter the 'Unite The Right' rally organised by nationalist groups to mark the first anniversary of the Charlottesville protests.

In its investigation, Facebook found the 'No Unite The Right 2' was promoting a fake rally for which neither permission had been taken, nor any genuine activist had pitched for participation. On the social media, however, the page managed to seek confirmation from 2,600 participants and evoke interest among 6,000 others.

The anti-fascist rally was being promoted near the White House on August 10-12.

Among other major pages taken down by Facebook, include 'Resisters' - which has been boosting the anti-Trump sentiment among the US populace. The posts shared by the page warned the American citizens against what it described as the 'Fascist' movement of the US president.

In the probe conducted by Facebook, it found the 'Resisters' was promoting as many as 30 fake events in the US, which were intended to fuel agony against the incumbent President.

The page is active since late last year

Here is the full statement issued by Facebook on its latest crackdown:

Today we removed 32 Pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior.

This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don’t want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they’re doing.

We’re still in the very early stages of our investigation and don’t have all the facts — including who may be behind this.

But we are sharing what we know today given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington next week. We will update this post with more details when we have them, or if the facts we have change.

It’s clear that whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past.

We believe this could be partly due to changes we’ve made over the last year to make this kind of abuse much harder. But security is not something that’s ever done.

We face determined, well-funded adversaries who will never give up and are constantly changing tactics. It’s an arms race and we need to constantly improve too.

It’s why we’re investing heavily in more people and better technology to prevent bad actors misusing Facebook — as well as working much more closely with law enforcement and other tech companies to better understand the threats we face.