Hundreds of Accounts Purged by Facebook Were Based in the U.S.

October 12, 2018, 2:06 PM UTC

Facebook said on Thursday that it’s removed hundreds of American-based accounts and pages spreading misinformation on its social network.

Facebook has identified and removed 559 pages and 251 accounts that were spreading patently false or misleading information across its network, the company confirmed in a blog post. The accounts were spreading the misinformation to influence public opinion around a variety of topics, including the confirmation of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanuagh and the 2018 midterm elections, according to a New York Times report. The accounts were were aimed at both left- and right-wing ideologies.

Facebook has come under fire since the 2016 election for being home to the spread of misinformation. Many of those complaints have centered on Russian interference in the 2016 election and coordinated attempts by Russian operatives to sway American voters.

The latest Facebook findings, however, center on accounts created by Americans to influence their fellow citizens. Facebook told the Times that the findings represented the largest number of domestic accounts it’s ever discovered spreading misinformation on its site. The company found it as part of its check into election interference.

Looking ahead, Facebook plans to continue to monitor for misinformation activity on its social network. But the ease with which people can sign up for new accounts or pages might make it difficult, if not impossible, to stop it entirely.