Facebook has been busy cleaning up its social network from what it calls "inauthentic behavior" on its platforms, and we've seen the results of those efforts in places such as the Philippines and Brazil. Now, the social network is back at it with the announcement that it has removed almost 170 pages in the United Kingdom and Romania for the same reason.
The blog post, written by Facebook's Head of Cybersecurity Policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, explains that the company removed 137 accounts, pages, and groups, from Facebook and Instagram for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior in the UK. The pages and accounts in question posed as being on two opposite ends of the political spectrum, switching between far-right and anti-far-right views, ultimately fueling the conflict between the two sides.
In total, this network of misleading content had 23 Facebook pages, 74 accounts, and five groups, plus 35 Instagram accounts. Collectively, the Facebook pages had roughly 175,000 followers, and the instagram accounts had about 4,500. The group also spent $1,500 for ads on Facebook between December 2013 and October of last year.
In a separate investigation, Facebook also took down a number of accounts related a similar kind of network acting in Romania. This network is noticeably smaller, consisting of a total of 26 Facebook accounts, four pages, and one group. The pages had a collective total of about 1,550 followers, and the network spent $650 in ads between December 2013 and February 2019.