Facebook updated its Inauthentic Behaviour policy on Monday and also removed several accounts that were not in line with the company’s policy. The Cambridge Analytica incident has shown us how social media networks can be used to build up the profile of the citizens.
With the upcoming US elections in 2020, the company certainly does not want to repeat its previous misadventures. The new update to the Inauthentic Behaviour policy explains how Facebook defines inauthentic behaviour and on what basis will it take action against the coordinated campaigns.
What constitutes as Inauthentic Behaviour (IB)?
Facebook judges inauthentic behaviour based on the following parameters.
- If the actors behind any campaign hide the organisation’s identity.
- The actors try to popularise the activity and gain the trust of the audience by falsely promoting their organisation.
- If the actors try to evade the law enforcement efforts.
On what basis does Facebook take down the pages?
Facebook takes down the inauthentic pages and campaigns based on the activity of the pages and not based on actors that are behind the pages. The reason, as given by Facebook, is that not all the information circulated by the coordinated campaigns is wrong or manipulated and can be accepted in political discourse if disseminated by a trusted source.
So, Facebook’s main point of enquiry is that the source should be a trusted one and the identity of the actors behind the campaign should not be concealed.
Update in the policy
Facebook has recently updated its Inauthentic Behaviour policy, which we will explain in brief below.
Action against Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour (CIB)
In the case of domestic, non-government campaign activity, Facebook will delete the materials related to the activity — pages, account and groups.
Facebook will also report the activity in its monthly CIB report. However, if the activity is harmful and directly relates to a civic event or uses some new techniques that are not mentioned above, Facebook will report the activity to the authorities.
If during the investigation, Facebook finds that an organisation is involved primarily in fraudulent activities, Facebook will remove the organisation’s page permanently.
Foreign or Government Interference (FGI)
In case, a government is involved in the fraudulent propaganda — whether in its own country or some foreign soil, Facebook “will apply the broadest enforcement measures including the removal of every on-platform property connected to the operation itself and the people and organisations behind it.” Facebook will share this information with law enforcement.
Facebook has removed 93 Facebook accounts, 17 Pages, and four Instagram accounts originated in Iran and targeted U.S. and North African population. The company also removed several more Iranian accounts which targeted several Latin American countries. Alongwith that, 50 Russian Instagram accounts and one Russian Facebook page was removed by Facebook.