|RUSI; That wasn’t so difficult|
Facebook announced earlier this month that it had removed dozens of accounts & more than 100 pages controlled by the Russian propaganda organisation & ‘troll farm’, the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
However, this is a retroactive step and the damage has already been done.
The post describes how ‘the IRA has repeatedly used complex networks of inauthentic accounts to deceive & manipulate people who use Facebook, including before, during and after the 2016 US presidential elections’. These pages and accounts, it added, were removed ‘solely because they were controlled by the IRA – not based on the content’.
This represents an apparent change in Facebook’s policy, as it amounts to proscribing & ‘blacklisting’ an entire organisation, rather than simply removing content that is deemed to breach the platform’s Terms of Service.
The IRA’s social media disinformation campaigns have been well documented since a 2015 New York Times Magazine investigation revealed how the St Petersburg-based organisation had ‘industrialized the art of trolling’.
Facebook’s actions therefore raise 2 important questions:
and does this mark a step change in the way that social media companies deal with disinformation?