Facebook shuts down 32 pages and accounts linked to misinformation schemes

Some of the posts created by bad actors in the name of influencing voters in recent weeks / Facebook

Facebook announced the shutdown of 32 individual pages and accounts that were deemed bad actors sending misinformation to users of the social platform and Instagram.

In a post on Facebook’s blog, Facebook’s Nathaniel Gleicher said that the company removed eight pages and 17 profiles on Facebook, as well as another nine instagram accounts. Among the accounts, over 9,500 organic posts were published, as well as a 150 ads that cost about $11,000 in US and Canadian money.

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The blog post read: “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.”

Facebook said that it’s still in the early stages of investigating the matter, but gave credit to working with outside experts for assisting them, including the Department of Justice and think tank The Atlantic Council.

This crackdown on fake sites comes after weeks of Facebook announcing it'd be more transparent to consumers about who uses its sites for illicit political gain. This included opening up a research grant to target ways to stop fake news from proliferating Whatsapp during elections in India and other countries, and highlighting who spends money for political ads for the US midterm elections.

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