Facebook Removes 32 Pages For ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’

July 31st, 2018 4:13 PM

On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it removed 32 profiles and pages that it suspected “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on the site. Of those 32 pages, Facebook said the most popular pages were ones such as “Resisters,” “Aztlan Warriors,” and “Black Elevation,” some of which promoted liberal political narratives.

In its news release on the topic, Facebook provided samples of the content posted by the pages that violated its policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Many of the posts had explicitly left-leaning messages. According to the Facebook release, while there are similar patterns to those employed by the Russian-based Internet Research Agency, Facebook wrote, “we still don’t have firm evidence to say with certainty who’s behind this effort.”

Most notably, the “Resisters” page organized a rally called “No Unite The Right 2 - DC” and partnered with “admins from five legitimate Pages” in order to help organize its event. The more than 2,600 users who said they were interested in the event, and the more than 600 users who said were they were attending the event, were notified by Facebook that the event was created by a fake page, although the provided screenshot is not specific about which page.

The posts by “Resisters” were also liberal, judging by the samples provided by Facebook. One of the posts by “Resisters,” for example, was the group seeking to hire a part-time events coordinator. The requirement section claimed, “reSisters came together on the wake of the election of Donald Trump. We recognize that Trump regime is illegitimate and must be stopped. Every effort we make is to contribute to that goal!” Another “Resisters” post stated, “Millions of indigenous people died during the conquest of America. History is history. But if we want integrity and equality, we have to erase these bloody memories and start over. Congratulations, LA!”

The other highly followed pages implicated by Facebook’s crackdown were “Aztlan Warriors,” “Black Elevation,” and “Mindful Being.” A post by the “Aztlan Warriors” page featured Native American figures and read, at the bottom of the meme, “Giving thanks, to our vets in the 500 year war against colonialism.” Another “Aztlan Warriors” page said, “Be proud of who you are” and featured Aztec artwork. “Black Elevation” also posted it was seeking a part-time events coordinator, but the screencap provided by Facebook did not show specifics. The posts provided by Facebook from “Mindful Being” included artwork.

A report by Politico claimed one of the popular topics discussed by the pages was “#AbolishICE,” a hashtag campaign calling for the abolition of the government agency in light of President Trump’s immigration policies.

According to Facebook, more than 290,000 Facebook accounts followed “at least one of these Pages.” The pages, in combination, allegedly ran 150 ads on Facebook and Instagram, totaling approximately $11,000.