Facebook has geared up to shut down all fake accounts and root out all the bots and election influencers. The goal of this exercise is to stop misinformation and root out fake news. In a statement today, the social media giant disclosed that it has removed hundreds of Facebook and Instagram accounts, and Facebook Pages and Groups, involved in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,”
The said accounts Facebook opined, were used to share content, including election-related news and criticism of targeted politicians, and “artificially increase engagement” while presenting themselves as locals and local news organizations. The X-marked accounts spent around the region of $800,000 and had garnered 2.8 million followers since April, 2012.
Among the countries victim to these spam accounts include Nigeria, Senegal, and Angola. And upon investigation, it was discovered that accounts originated from Israel, with activity focused on audiences across African nations.
Israeli actors seem to have a penchant for being involved in a fake news-related scandal in African politics. Reports in 2018 showed data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica was hired for $2.8 million to orchestrate a fake news campaign in Nigeria against President Muhammadu Buhari, the leading opposition candidate at the time.
Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media or online social media. One too many times, it has formed the catalyst for decisions affecting millions. Today, Facebook plays its part to bring it to an end.