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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Facebook, the social media giant once called the “world’s most dangerous censor,” unpublished over 800 accounts and pages, accusing those pages and accounts of flooding users with politically-oriented content the company says violates its policies on spam.
According to the Post:
ACCOUNTS - AND - PAGES - WITH - NAMES
THE ACCOUNTS AND PAGES, WITH NAMES SUCH AS REASONABLE PEOPLE UNITE AND REVERB PRESS, WERE PROBABLY DOMESTIC ACTORS USING CLICKBAIT HEADLINES AND OTHER SPAMMY TACTICS TO DRIVE USERS TO WEBSITES WHERE THEY COULD TARGET THEM WITH ADS, THE COMPANY SAID. SOME HAD HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS AND EXPRESSED A RANGE OF POLITICAL VIEWPOINTS, INCLUDING A PAGE THAT BILLED ITSELF AS “THE FIRST PUBLICATION TO ENDORSE PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP.” THEY DID NOT APPEAR TO HAVE TIES TO RUSSIA, COMPANY OFFICIALS SAID.
FACEBOOK SAID IT WAS NOT REMOVING THE PUBLISHERS AND ACCOUNTS BECAUSE OF THE TYPE OF CONTENT THEY POSTED BUT BECAUSE OF THE BEHAVIORS THEY ENGAGED IN, INCLUDING SPAMMING FACEBOOK GROUPS WITH IDENTICAL PIECES OF CONTENT, UNAUTHORIZED COORDINATION AND USING FAKE PROFILES.
TODAY - WE - REMOVING - PAGES - ACCOUNTS
“TODAY, WE’RE REMOVING 559 PAGES AND 251 ACCOUNTS THAT HAVE CONSISTENTLY BROKEN OUR RULES AGAINST SPAM AND COORDINATED INAUTHENTIC BEHAVIOR,” THE COMPANY SAID IN A BLOG POST. “PEOPLE WILL ONLY SHARE ON FACEBOOK IF THEY FEEL SAFE AND TRUST THE CONNECTIONS THEY MAKE HERE.”
Among the conservative pages that were removed: Clash Daily, with some two million followers, Silence Is Consent and Top Stories USA. One network of conservative sites said that over a dozen of its members’ sites lost their Facebook pages.
Facebook - Explanation - Link - Explanation - Spokesperson
We reached out to Facebook for an explanation, and was provided a link with an explanation one spokesperson said at the time was published “about an hour ago,” which coincided with the time pages began disappearing.
We asked Facebook why the action was taken without first reaching out to the owners of the...
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