Facebook has continued its crackdown on coordinated misinformation in the Philippines.
The social media giant said on Friday it had taken down more than 200 pages, groups, and accounts in the country, which it said misled others about who they were and what they were doing.
“We’re taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said in a statement online.
“In this case, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis for our action.”
Facebook said the people behind the activity used a combination of real and fake accounts to post on pages and groups.
“They frequently posted about local and political news, including topics like the upcoming elections, candidate updates and views, alleged misconduct of political opponents, and controversial events that were purported to occur during previous administrations,” Gleicher added.
Around 3.6 million accounts followed one or more of these Facebook pages, and around $59,000 was spent on advertising.
Facebook also shared some of the posts published by these pages.
It claimed the activity was linked to a network organised by Nic Gabunada, who was behind the social media strategy for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
In 2016, Gabunada helped deliver victory to Duterte through a network of volunteers who would help amplify the presidential candidate’s message via social media. A year later, Duterte admitted he paid trolls to help aid his campaign.
The latest action comes after Facebook banned a Philippines digital marketing company called Twinmark Media Enterprises in January, after it was accused of using fake accounts and selling access to pages.
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