Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) announced that they took down several disinformation networks used by state-backed and political groups in various countries to lure users their platforms.
Facebook and Twitter removing accounts spreading disinformation
As the fight against disinformation on social media platforms intensifies, the companies are cracking the whip by suspending accounts. The companies indicated in separate statements that they had suspended over 3,500 accounts between them using fake identities and were showing deceptive behavior to spread misinformation. The social media platforms targeted users from various countries that include the US, where officials have said that there could be attempts to influence next month’s election outcome from foreign governments.
Following criticism about Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, social medial platforms have been under scrutiny over their role. As a result, Twitter and Facebook are announcing several high-profile takedowns in recent weeks ahead of the presidential election next month. The companies have been collaborating with law enforcement officials to track and do away with political campai9gns targeting US voters.
The takedowns the companies announced covered networks with global outreach beyond the US election. These operations target users in 16 other countries, including Japan, Nigeria, and Azerbaijan. In its statement, Twitter said that five of the network is suspended were associated with groups having ties with Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and Thailand.
Facebook to remove posts asking for militarized pol watching
Facebook also announced that it will be removing content urging Americans to be unauthorized poll watchers if the language used is militarized or if the posts intimidate voters. Monika Bickert, the VP of content policy at Facebook, said that posts using the word “battle” or “army” or those seeming to be threatening will be removed.
This policy comes at the back of Trump’s call urging his supporters to join an army for his election security. Twitter and Facebook only applied contextual labels to trump’s vide but didn’t say if the content qualified to be removed.