Facebook shuts down Indian election accounts

World Thursday 04/April/2019 20:46 PM
By: Times News Service
Facebook shuts down Indian election accounts

Muscat: Facebook announced that it had removed hundreds of accounts and pages in India for coordinated inauthentic behavior and spam.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at the tech giant said, “We removed 687 Facebook Pages and Accounts- the majority of which had already been detected and suspended by our automated systems - that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior India and were linked to individuals associated with IT Cell of the INC.”

Gleicher added that “the page admins and account owners typically posted about local news and political issues, including topics like the upcoming elections, candidate views,the INC 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.”

According to Gleicher, there were a total of 138 pages and 549 accounts in the aforementioned case. Around 206,000 accounts followed one or more these pages.

Separately, another 15 pages, groups and accounts were removed for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior in India on Facebook and Instagram.

“They posted about local news and political events, including topics like the Indian government, the upcoming elections, the BJP and alleged misconduct of political opponents, including the INC,” Gleicher added.

He stated that an investigation had concluded that the activity was linked to the Indian IT firm Silver Touch.

Additionally, 227 pages and 94 accounts in India were removed for violating Facebook’s policies against spam and misrepresentation.