Facebook announced today that it has removed 138 pages, along with 70 Facebook accounts and 65 Instagram accounts, all controlled by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA). A large number of ads that the agency has posted on Facebook have also been found and removed. According to Facebook, most of these pages were written in Russian and should address Russian-speaking people, including those living in Russia and neighboring countries, and Russian-speakers abroad.
Facebook's content should be users. driven and always authentic, whereby one of the main rules of the platform every human user or business unit should have only a single page. The IRA allegedly violated this rule massively and set up a large number of fake sites. As a result, Facebook has chosen to track down these pages and related content and then revoke all. The deletion did not take into account what type of content could be served by the pages or accounts in question, much like deleting multiple accounts from a single human user. In fact, much of the content could be considered fairly harmless, such as Russian tourism and Russian culture. After all, the IRA has been accused of using fake sites in the past to manipulate users.
This is part of Facebook's ongoing efforts to combat fake news and fraudulent content. Since the allegations against the IRA are so far-reaching, Facebook has decided not to give the organization access to the platform, regardless of the content of each page. As a result, over the coming weeks, Facebook will share more content from IRA-related sites and accounts, and update Help so users can see if they're related to such content and, if so, what content or pages. The platform essentially holds responsible deceptive and fraudulent content producers, even if they are large government organizations.