With just weeks until the midterm elections, Facebook has deleted hundreds of political accounts and pages for violating their terms of service. In an announcement, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher and product manager Oscar Rodriguez asserted that it had nothing to do with ideology, but rather with what the offending accounts did on the site.
Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.
The New York Times notes that the crackdown reflects how some Americans started taking some pages out of the Russian disinformation campaign handbook. Right Wing News, for example, made numerous fake accounts and pages to push out misinformation.