Facebook has removed over 500 accounts linked to India’s Congress party. The removal of political campaign-related pages comes after the social media giant was rebuked by governments from around the globe about its political advertising rules.
The removal of the accounts is ahead of the Lok Sabha elections which are scheduled to happen from April 11 to May 19.
According to a Reuters report, Facebook has removed 549 accounts and 139 pages linked to the Indian Congress Party, the main opposition party of the country. The accounts were removed for “coordinated inauthentic behavior”.
“We didn’t find any links between the campaigns we’ve removed today, but they used similar tactics by creating networks of accounts to mislead others,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook.
He added that the company removed accounts based on its activity and not based on the content. The report stated that Facebook conducted an internal investigation of the region ahead of the upcoming election of India.
“Our review found that it was connected to individuals associated with an INC (Indian National Congress) IT Cell,” said Gleicher.
The Congress party said that none of its official pages had been taken down, including those run by verified volunteers. The party has asked for a list of accounts that have been taken down, stated the report.
Facebook’s investigation found that individuals used fake accounts and posted content including local news which criticised opposing parties such as the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party], the ruling party. The social media giant also said that it had also taken down accounts that linked to an IT firm that worked for the BJP.
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