Facebook says it identified ‘coordinated’ fake pages


Facebook on Tuesday said it had identified 32 accounts and pages that are part of a “coordinated” effort by people, who sought to hide their identities to spread information or influence users’ political beliefs.
“We don’t have all the facts, but we’ll work closely with others as we continue our investigation,’’ Facebook, the social media giant, said.
It added that the findings were consistent with activity by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency ahead of the 2016 election, but not attributable to it.
More than 290,000 accounts followed at least one of the identified pages, though some had no followers at all.
Advertisements were used to promote their content.
The announcement came as Facebook is under pressure over inflammatory content, coordinated disinformation campaigns and data breaches on its platform.
Shares in the company dropped about 19 per cent recently after it warned investors of slowing revenue gains and increased spending.
In its statement, Facebook showed one of the fake pages it identified to be promoting a left-wing rally in the hopes of attracting participants, offline.
“The relationship between malicious actors and real-world sponsors can be difficult to determine in practice, especially for the activity sponsored by nation-states,’’ Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos said.
The company admitted it would be hard to trace the origins of what it described as a ‘’coordinated inauthentic behaviour’’.
The company noted that the users had gone to great lengths to cover their tracks.
The Facebook statement also included no less than one page from Instagram, a photo-sharing platform owned by the company. (dpa/NAN)

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