Tech Facebook shuts down ‘spammy’ politics pages Published 2 months ago on October 12, 2018 By Jamie Hendricks Share Tweet Image copyright EPA Image caption President Trump has warned social media firms about political bias Facebook has removed more than 800 pages and accounts that sought to profit from politically themed spam. In a blog, Facebook said the 559 pages and 251 accounts abused the network to try to make people visit sites that make money from adverts. Scammers no longer sent messages about disasters or celebrities, it said, but used politics to generate traffic. The action has drawn criticism from some accounts that said they were legitimate activists. Big audience Facebook said it had removed networks of pages created by fake accounts. It also removed accounts with the same name. The same people running these “inauthentic” pages also posted “clickbait” messages to many Facebook groups to drum up traffic, it said. “This artificially inflates engagement for their inauthentic pages and the posts they share, misleading people about their popularity and improving their ranking in News Feed,” said the blog. Before now, Facebook had struggled to pick out these pages and accounts because the posts and information they shared were similar to those seen on legitimate political sites. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The posts by the political sites were spam to drive clicks to ad-funded sites, said Facebook Instead of analysing content, Facebook looked at the behaviour of the pages to see which ones used fake accounts and posted spam. This helped it spot which ones had “consistently broken our rules against spam and co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour”. The Washington Post said some of the accounts that had been removed had been present on Facebook for years and were followed by millions of people. Chris Metcalf, whose Reasonable People Unite account on Facebook was removed, said he was puzzled by the decision. “I am a legitimate political activist. I don’t have a clickbait blog. I don’t have a fake news website,” he told the Washington Post. He said would he happy to abide by Facebook’s terms if it could explain what they were. The action comes as Facebook, other social media platforms and tech firms have been warned by the Trump administration about what it sees as political bias. President Trump was critical of the perceived bias of tech firms in August and warned them to be “careful” about how they treated political topics. In a separate move, Reuters reported that Facebook had shut down dozens of accounts belonging to Russian firm SocialDataHub which had “scraped” data about users from the site. Gathering data about users in this way broke Facebook’s terms and led to the shut down, it told Reuters. Credit:BBC Share this:Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window) Related Related Topics: Up Next Is there a way to block certain incoming texts in iOS? Don't Miss Razer Naga Trinity review: Three gaming mice in one Continue Reading You may like Follow Us On Flipboard Magazine. Latest U.S. Politics24 mins ago Meghan Markle vowed to live ‘less stifled’ life before dating Prince Harry Not long before she met Prince Harry, Meghan Markle vowed to live a “life less stifled” and to “take a... Sports34 mins ago Former Juve sporting director Marotta takes over at Inter Milan Giuseppe Marotta arrives to attend the draw for UEFA Champions League at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Giuseppe Marotta has... World36 mins ago Constantinople was unwise to antagonize Moscow, leading Orthodox theologian says The Patriarch of Constantinople was wrong to declare Ukraine no longer subject to the Russian Orthodox Church as the conflict... Business53 mins ago Data Sheet—These Bleak Times for Global Tech Companies Jobs for everyone. After a grueling public process involving bids from over 200 cities…oh, wait, no. Apple skipped all that... World1 hour ago Ian Naude: Cheshire PC jailed for raping 13-year-old girl Image copyright Cheshire Police Image caption Ian Naude was being investigated for sex offences when he became a student officer... Most Read Tech1 week ago YouTube top earners: The seven-year-old making $22m Sports7 days ago Maurizio Sarri is steering Chelsea away from top four for second year running unless these changes are made, says Adrian Durham Sports7 days ago Who are the two best central defenders in the world?