Facebook removes 687 pages linked to Congress IT Cell

Facebook has also removed 15 pages, groups and accounts for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" on Facebook and Instagram that were linked to individuals associated with an Indian IT firm, Silver Touch.

Reuters file photo for representation

Ahead of general elections, Facebook on Monday said it has removed 687 pages and accounts on its platform connected to individuals associated with the Congress party's IT cell as part of the company's action to cracks down fake accounts.

These accounts were removed from the social media platform not based on content or fake news but for "inauthentic behaviour" and for pushing spam, Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher told reporters.

The individuals engaging in this co-ordinated inauthentic behaviours used fake accounts and joined various groups to spread their contents and increase engagement on their own Pages, he said adding that the company build a system to crack down fake accounts and spam.

"The Page admins and account owners typically posted about local news and political issues including topics like upcoming elections, candidates views, the INC ( Indian National Congress ) and criticism of political opponents including the BJP."

"While the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our review found that it was connected to individuals associated with an INC IT Cell," Gleicher said.

Separately, Facebook has also removed 15 pages, groups and accounts for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behaviour" on Facebook and Instagram that were linked to individuals associated with an Indian IT firm, Silver Touch.

They posted about local news and political events including topics like Indian Government, the upcoming elections, the BJP and alleged misconducted of political opponents including the INC, he said.

Insisting that the removal was not based on the content that was shared by these pages and groups, he said “We remove them is because of their coordinated inauthentic behaviour, that they are using network of fake accounts to conceal their identity....to mislead who's behind them.”

He also claimed that the company reached out to Congress to educate them about what we have seen and answer questions they have.

In addition, the US-based company has removed 227 pages and 94 accounts in India for violating its policies against spam and misrepresentation. The company also removed 103 pages, groups and accounts on its platform originated in Pakistan for similar behaviour.

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Facebook removes 687 pages linked to Congress IT Cell

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