World

Facebook pulls down over 100 fake accounts spreading hate in UK

Agency | March 08, 2019 02:07 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook has taken down over 100 fake accounts that were used to spread hate in the UK. These pages and groups frequently changed their names to get more followers for furthering their agenda of spreading hate speeches and divisive comments.

The network, spread over Facebook and photo-sharing site Instagram, used fake accounts to pose as both far-right activists and their opponents.

The pages, operating with names such as "Anti Far Right Extremists", "Atheists Research Centre" and "Politicalised", garnered almost 175,000 followers on the social networking platform, while another 4,500 followers were found on Instagram, according to Facebook's Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher.

"It ran pages and groups whose names frequently changed in order to drum up more followers and operated fake accounts to engage in hate speech and spread divisive comments on both sides of UK political debate," Facebook was quoted as saying by The Guardian late on Thursday.

The operation was reportedly intended "to counter far-right representations of Muslims, LGBT communities and minorities in the UK".

The social networking giant took similar action against 31 accounts and pages in Romania for engaging in hate speech and making divisive comments, according to Sky News.

The crackdown on fake accounts comes a day after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a memo about the company becoming a "privacy-focused social network" like WhatsApp.

Admitting that people want private, encrypted services, Zuckerberg said Facebook will become like the mobile messaging platform which is more secure with end-to-end encryption.

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