Facebook removed a record number of disinformation campaigns in December

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Facebook identified and suspended a total of 17 disinformation networks on its platforms in the last month of 2020, representing its biggest monthly takedown ever, the US social media titan stated on Tuesday.

The social media company said it had suspended a little more than 2,800 accounts and webpages on its principal platform and photo-sharing website, Instagram, for using fake identities and other forms of so-called “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”.

The activity spanned 11 states, including Argentina, Brazil, Morocco, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. In most of those countries, the networks have been concentrated on coming elections and operate by national groups, Facebook said.

“Deceptive campaigns like these raise a complex challenge by blurring the line between healthy public debate and manipulation,” the company said in a blog article.

Three of the networks declared on Tuesday were exposed last month and utilized by rival French and Russian groups to spread competing narratives in the Central African Republic before the country’s parliamentary election.

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Facebook’s Chief Operations Officer and defacto number two Sheryl Sandberg stated the company had no plans to raise its block on the accounts of current US President Donald Trump as it clamped down to a misleading phrase that has become a rallying cry for Trump’s supporters.

The company is one of a number of leading US-based digital platform facing growing pressure both at home and abroad over its perceived opaque policing of free speech, with many calling for government action to stop persecution of opposing voicing.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Jack Stubbs. Editing by Bernadette Baum. Comment by Rob Phillips.

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