For engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram in the Philippines”, Facebook has announced the removal of 200 accounts.
“We’re taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behavior, not the content they posted,” Facebook proclaimed in a pres release.
Its investigation found that such activity was linked to a network organized by a person named Nic Gabunada, former chief executive of Omnicom Media Group Philippines.
They frequently posted about local and political news, including topics like the upcoming elections, candidate updates and views, alleged misconduct of political opponents, and controversial events that were purported to occur during previous administration.
The perpetrators were found to have a Facebook and Instagram presence with- 67 Pages, 68 Facebook accounts, 40 Groups and 25 Instagram accounts.
About 3.6 million accounts followed one or more of these Pages, with 1.8 million accounts that joined at least one of the Groups and around 5,300 accounts who followed one or more of the Instagram accounts.
Around 59,000 USD in spending for ads on Facebook paid for in Philippine peso, Saudi riyal and US dollars. The first ad was ran in January 2014 and the most recent in March 2019.