Facebook is again being called out for purging political accounts too far left and right of center, after it removed more than 800 pages just in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Some had millions of followers.
Many of the affected pages were supposedly sharing links between groups using fake accounts, which then clicked “Like” on the posts, artificially upping their engagement numbers. This “inauthentic behavior” violates Facebook’s anti-spam policies and goes against “what people expect” from Facebook, the company said.
While some of the deleted pages have been known to run content of questionable credibility at times, Facebook did not expressly accuse them of spreading “fake news” – or actually provide a list of names or examples of postings at all. However, under the platform’s new policies, simply spreading “news” is frowned upon: it has recently tweaked its algorithm to prevent users’ feeds from being dominated by news stories.
Twitter was in an uproar this afternoon as many voices on the left and right alike saw their pages removed without cause.
On the Left, AntiMedia and the Free Thought Project were among the victims. AntiMedia’s Twitter account was suspended shortly after they posted about their removal from Facebook. …
Right Wing News and Nation In Distress were some of the conservative pages that got the axe. Free Thought Project, AntiMedia, and Nation In Distress had millions of followers each, while many others had hundreds of thousands of followers.
In August, the aggressively pro-NATO think tank Atlantic Council announced it was joining Facebook as a “fact-checking” partner. A press statement from the social media platform gushed that the think tank, which boasts such esteemed warmongers as Henry Kissinger and Michael Chertoff on its board, would serve as the “eyes and ears” of Facebook, so the platform could play a “positive role” in ensuring democracy was practiced correctly in the future.
Since the Atlantic Council arrived on the scene to protect Facebook users from themselves, accounts that post anti-establishment political content have noticed a massive drop in engagement on their posts – if they haven’t been kicked off the platform altogether. In August, Facebook deleted 652 accounts after cybersecurity firm FireEye claimed they were linked to Iran.
hat-tip Stephen Neil