Takedown of accounts not related to content – Facebook exec
MANILA, Philippines — Facebook has clarified that the latest takedown of local fake accounts have nothing to do with the content being posted or their supposed political affiliations.
According to Nathaniel Gleicher Facebook Cybersecurity Policy head, the decision was based more on the existence of a ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’ (CIB), which is the use of an organized network of fake accounts to promote any agenda.
“The core hook here is these groups are using fake accounts. In this context, it’s not just the use of fake accounts, it is the use of fake accounts in an organized fashion, along with groups and pages […] to mislead people about the origin of the content they are sharing,” Gleicher told reporters in a briefing at Facebook Philippines’ Taguig City office.
Gleicher also explained that the accounts would not have been taken down if these were authentic.
“If you have a group of people, you have 50 friends, and all of your friends come together and you’re using a set of pages advocate on something, if you’re using authentic accounts, right then you’re not engaged in CIB,” he said.
Gleicher assured that the content of the posts was never a basis for the investigation and the taking down of the accounts.
“The content is not the basis for the violation or the investigation. When we do a takedown on this it’s not because of who’s behind it, it’s not because of what their saying, because they’re using a network of fake accounts to mislead people about who they are and the source of the information they are providing,” he emphasized.
“So this is a behavior-based investigation. We provided samples of some of the content, and you’ll see as you look at it, that most of the content is fairly benign, and it’s content on behalf the candidates,” he added.
Facebook had earlier taken down more than 200 accounts and pages operating under a network created by communications strategist Nic Gabanuda.
Gabanuda is the former social media manager of of President Rodrigo Duterte during the 2016 presidential race. Gabanuda also worked for other television networks and in the 2010 presidential campaign of former President Benigno Aquino III.
In Facebook’s official announcement, several samples of accounts supposedly operating under Gabanuda were shown, including political posts involving the current administration, two supporters of senatorial bets, and several non-political posts. /muf
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