Facebook says it will act against ‘information operations’ using false accounts
Facebook Inc acknowledged on Thursday that it has become a battleground for governments seeking to manipulate public opinion.
In a report and summary of proposals to be published on its website on Thursday, Facebook describes well-funded and subtle efforts by nations and other organizations to spread misleading information and falsehoods for geopolitical goals.
These initiatives go much further than posting fake news stories.
Reuters reviewed an advance copy of the 13-page report, which was written by two veteran security analysts.
Facebook said its security team would now fight information operations by suspending or deleting false accounts.
The new efforts build on the company’s recently expanded campaigns to identify fake news.
Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of last Sunday’s first-round presidential election.
Facebook has faced pressure to clamp down on fake news, and has begun warning about suspected hoax stories.
In its latest report, Facebook focused on how it will fight “false amplification” and targeted data collection.
Facebook said it would go after amplifier accounts based on behavioral analysis that shows signs of inauthenticity.
Facebook said that other amplification techniques it had discovered include coordinated “likes” to boost the prominence of key postings, the creation of groups that camouflage propaganda by including legitimate items, and the spread of inflammatory and racist material.
Most of the false amplification is driven by people with local language skills.
In some cases, they said, the same fake accounts engaged with both sides of an issue “with the apparent intent of increasing tensions between supporters.”