Facebook has taken down more accounts that violate its guidelines ahead of the election. As reported by Engadget, the company has warned against ‘perception hacking’ prior to voting day in the U.S.
Facebook has long had issues with implementing community guidelines and dealing with misinformation. For a long time the company valued free speech over clamping down on these sort of problems.
However, following an advertiser boycott in the summer the company changed tactics. Now, Facebook’s VP claims the company is much better prepared to tackle misinformation in this election.
However, even when Facebook take action against misinformation they still seem to find themselves in trouble. Recently both Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey received subpoenas from the senate after both companies took action against a New York Times article.
Now Facebook has taken action against a new network of accounts spreading misinformation. This all comes just a week away from election day.
Facebook targets a network of fake accounts
Facebook says that it identified the accounts in an early stage in the run-up to the election. These accounts all originated in Mexico and Venezuela and posted in English and Spanish about US current events.
It appears the network consisted of a single Facebook account and 22 Instagram accounts. However, Facebook identified another network of accounts. These originated from Iran and consisted of 12 Facebook accounts, six pages and 11 Instagram accounts.
Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, sent out a warning to go with the announcement of these takedowns. He said these networks were “an attempt to weaponize uncertainty to sow distrust and division”.
He went onto say “as it gets harder to go undetected for long periods of time, we see malicious actors attempt to play on our collective expectation of wide-spread interference to create the perception that they’re more impactful than they in fact are”.
Gleicher called this type of action as ‘perception hacking’. He did point out that Facebook remains vigilant and will continue to act.
He said, “we’re closely monitoring for potential scenarios where malicious actors around the world may use fictitious claims, including about compromised election infrastructure or inaccurate election outcomes, to suppress voter turnout or erode trust in the poll results, particularly in battleground states.”
Hopefully, social media company’s have more of a handle on the spread of misinformation during this year’s election. It appears more action has been taken. However, the question still remains as to how much of an impact it is having.