It appears that scandal plagued social media platform Facebook has at last decided to clean up its act. It recently announced that it has shut down 130 accounts, groups and pages that were part of a misinformation network and based in UK. The firm said that it is the first time that it has taken down a group based in UK that targets messages at local citizens. This same group had been responsible for creating pages that posted material aimed at far-right groups and also for anti-fascist groups. Facebook informed that details of all these pages and groups were shared with local government officials.
It appeared that this group was successful in garnering followers to its propaganda materials by setting up ordinary groups and pages. It then changed the names of these pages to post politically motivated information. Damien Collins MP stated that tackling this kind of fake information was just tip of the iceberg. Facebook stated that one of these fake pages had nearly 175000 followers and the some also had 35 different profiles on Instagram. Apparently this group was spreading heat speech and divisive comments on all sides of political debate across the country.
The page posted details on a regular basis about local and international news based on controversial topics like free speech, racism, immigration, LGBT issues, religious issues and political issues between India and Pakistan. Facebook announced that these pages are being taken down not due to the posted content but for their behavior as people behind them coordinated among themselves to post same news by faking their identity. It was also discovered that the pages spent around $1500 on advertisements between them and the earliest was placed in 2013 while the last one was done in 2018 October. The firm has also removed 31 pages in Romania for engaging in inauthentic behavior and for posting biased news about Social Democratic Party.