Ahead of the general election in Brazil this October, Facebook took a major step to purge its platform of fake accounts created to sow misinformation across the country. Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, said in a blog post that the company terminated 196 pages and 87 accounts that constituted part of a coordinated network aiming to mislead people in Brazil. Those pages and accounts were taken down on the grounds of violating Facebook's policy for authenticity.
While Facebook didn't specifically mention the names of the fake accounts and pages involved, Reuters reports that Movimento Brazil Livre (MBL) or the “Free Brazil Movement” is behind the network. The latest crackdown is part of Facebook's efforts to prevent abuse on the social networking site. In September last year, the company closed 470 fake accounts and pages that the company believed were based out of Russia.
Gleicher noted that Facebook uses community reports, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to detect suspicious behavior. Currently, about 15,000 people work to monitor the social media platform for security events and review all content worldwide. Facebook plans to increase that team to over 20,000 by the end of 2018.