Facebook announced last Thursday that the company deleted more than 800 pages that the social media giant believed were posting politically-oriented spam content. Among those that were removed were several anti-police pages – including Cop Block, Police the Police, and The Free Thought Project – who cumulatively had around seven million followers.
Facebook, according to a report by the Washington Post, decided to shut down the pages who have “consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
“People will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here,” the social media giant added.
Facebook accused some of the pages of using fake “likes” to increase their reach.
“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,” said Facebook in the announcement.
“Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was,” the statement continued. “Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.”
“Of course, there are legitimate reasons that accounts and Pages coordinate with each other — it’s the bedrock of fundraising campaigns and grassroots organizations,” Facebook stated.
“But the difference is that these groups are upfront about who they are, and what they’re up to.”
Facebook also added that “the ‘news’ stories or opinions these accounts and Pages share are often indistinguishable from legitimate political debate.”
Other pages that were removed tend to have strong political bends, but reflect both sides of the aisle. Nation In Distress, a page that claimed to be an early supporter of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, was taken down.
On the other side, Reverb Press was also pulled from Facebook.
Not all of the pages taken down by Facebook were named by the company, leaving users to slowly discover which were pulled as they peruse Facebook or through announcements on other social media platforms that haven’t removed the associated accounts.