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Facebook Takes Down SPAM Political Content: Both Pages and Accounts Affected

Facebook takes down SPAM political content against of US-based accounts and pages that have found to such messages. This was announced in a blog post published by the company stating that 59 pages and 251 accounts will be removed.

SPAM Political Content Deleted By Facebook: Both Accounts and Pages Impacted

Facebook announced that they have taken down SPAM political content from many accounts and pages originating from the United States. According to the social network the total number of 559 pages and 251 have all breached the service’s terms of use by posting “inauthentic” content, specifically being labeled as SPAM political messages. The reason for their deletion from the social network were not isolated incidents but rather repeated violations of the rules. An important issue that frequently impacts the online service is there numerous concerns surrounding Your Privacy on Facebook — the Tipping Point of All Trouble.

Facebook also announced that the proximity to the midterm elections in the USA has triggered various actors into abusing the social networks into promoting such messages. The moderating team is now shifting their strategies into looking out for behavior rather than dry content which has allowed them to reveal the main sources. The released report also reveals some of the common tactics — the use of multiple accounts with duplicate names, the creation of many pages moderated by these accounts which are both advertising fake products. They often distribute template posts that include dangerous links to outside sources. All of this is also used to facilitate the SPAM political content.

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During the investigation it has been revealed that these clickbait are used to initially build up a large enough audience. When this stage has been reached the traffic will be driven to the SPAM pages. Some of the pages can lead into dangerous infections. Examples are cryptocurrency miners that can be launched via simple JavaScript code. Whenever they are executed by the Internet browsers they will start to use the available system resources in order to carry out complex calculations. When the tasks are complete and reported the operators will receive in the form of digital currency. To learn more about preventing Facebook viruses read our removal guide.

The other reason quoted by Facebook for the massive build-up of SPAM content across the social network is the desire to artificially boost a certain page or account’s popularity. An excerpt from the official statement reads the following:

Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior. Given the activity we’ve seen — and its timing ahead of the US midterm elections — we wanted to give some details about the types of behavior that led to this action. Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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