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Tuesday, June 18, 2019
MANILA

Facebook bans PH digital marketing group, 220 pages, 73 accounts

Screenshots of pages and posts that Facebook had taken down for violating its coordinated inauthentic behavior and spam policies. (From newsroom.fb.com)

SOCIAL media giant Facebook has banned Twinmark Media Enterprises, a digital marketing group in the Philippines, and all its subsidiaries from the social networking site and Instagram.

Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Facebook's Cybersecurity Policy, said in a post that Twinmark Media has repeatedly violated their misrepresentation and spam policies, "including through coordinated inauthentic behavior, the use of fake account, leading people to ad farms, and selling access to Facebook pages to artificially increase distribution and generate profit."

Removed as part of the ban were 220 Facebook Pages, 73 Facebook accounts, and 29 Instagram accounts related to Twinmark Media.

It said about 43 million accounts followed at least one of these removed Facebook pages.

Also removed were pages with highest number of followers, including the Filipino Channel Online with 10.4 million followers; Gorgeous Me, 5.7 million; Unhappy, 4.9 million; Text Message, 4.4 million; and TNP Media, 4.3 million.

"We do not want our services to be used for this type of behavior, nor do we want the group to be able to reestablish a presence on Facebook," said Gleicher.

He said the action was "based on the behavior of these actors who repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and spam policies, rather than on the type of content they were posting."

He said Facebook started its investigation on Twinmark Media after learning that the digital marketing group was selling admin rights to Facebook pages it had created, in order to increase distribution and generate profit. This violated Facebook's spam policy.

"This prompted our teams to take a deeper look at a broader group of pages and accounts associated with these users, ultimately uncovering a large network of pages and accounts that were engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior, the use of fake accounts, leading people to ad farms and selling access to Facebook pages," Gleicher said.

He said they are continuously working to uncover such kind of abuse, and "we know that the people behind it — whether economically or politically motivated — will continue to evolve their tactics."

"Today’s announcement is just one of the many steps we have taken to prevent bad actors from abusing our platform. We will continue to invest heavily in safety and security in order to ensure that people can continue to trust the connections they make on Facebook," he added. (LMY/SunStar Philippines)


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