Social media giant Facebook Inc. has removed 687 pages and accounts linked to India’s main opposition National Congress party.
The company Monday said pages, groups and accounts were removed for violating Facebook’s policies on coordinated inauthentic behaviour or spam. “We removed 687 Facebook Pages and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour in India.
The individuals behind this activity used fake accounts, the majority of which had already been detected and suspended by our automated systems, and joined various Groups to disseminate their content and increase engagement on their own Pages,” reads a statement issued by Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook.
The move came just days ahead of India’s general elections scheduled to begin on April 11 and end on May 19. The social media giant has faced increasing pressure from authorities around the world, including the Indian government, to ensure its platform was not abused for political gains or spread misinformation.
Meanwhile, a Congress party leader Manish Tewari told media they need to check the veracity of such reports. “We would need to verify the veracity of this, whether there are any Facebook pages linked to us which are being exorcised in any manner,” Tewari said.