On the wild online frontier of social media, there is a constant battle to control if not outright clamp down on practices and trends that tend to ruin the overall internet community experience. Even relatively closed platforms such as Facebook have to contend with instances of “fake news” and advertising spam that just do not know when to stop appearing. Remedies for such intrusive activity on the pioneering social network can often result in the administrative deletion of the offending Facebook accounts and pages. In a recent action, the social media giant struck at a Philippine-based digital marketing firm, wiping out hundreds of FB pages.
CNN Philippines reports that last week on Friday, January 11, Facebook put a ban on Twinmark Media Enterprises from the Philippines for gross violations of their service policies regarding misrepresentation and spamming. An official FB statement lays out that their investigation has found Twinmark to be engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior, the use of fake accounts, leading people to ad farms, and selling access to Facebook Pages to artificially increase distribution and generate profit.” These actions helped generate increased followers and online monetization for no less than 220 pages being overseen by the Twinmark umbrella.
Following the ban on the digital marketing company in question, Facebook proceeded to delete all Twinmark-controlled Facebook pages, along with 73 related personal FB accounts and 29 more from Instagram. Several of the pages that were taken down were significantly popular on the FB scene, with followers ranging from 4 to 6 million per page. These include Gorgeous Me, Unhappy, Text Message, TNP Media and the 10.4 million-followed Filipino Channel Online. Signs of online skullduggery on the social network by Twinmark were noticed by Facebook Cybersecurity Policy chief Nathaniel Gleicher, particularly how the firm was selling admin rights to the various pages it had created.
“Our decision to remove this organization, and the Pages and accounts it controls, is 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,” noted Gleischer following the Twinmark ban and the deletion of its related pages and accounts from the platform. He adds, “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.”
Image courtesy of Rappler