Facebook on Tuesday said it removed more than 2,000 fake accounts, pages and groups from various countries in December, some of which targeted elections and tried to pose as news outlets.
The company said it pulled down 1,957 Facebook accounts, 707 Instagram accounts, 156 pages and 727 groups last month for misleading users about their purpose and identity.
The social media giant has been under pressure to do more to combat misinformation and fake accounts after Russian trolls used its platforms to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. Scrutiny of the company has only intensified since thelast week.
Facebook said it pulled down 14 networks of fake accounts that haven’t been previously announced. The networks came from Iran, Morocco, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan and Indonesia. The social network also pulled down fake accounts from Russia and France earlier in December. Most of the operations focused on elections and targeted local users.
“Domestic campaigns like these raise a complex challenge by blurring the line between healthy debate and manipulation,” Facebook said in a report.
The largest network Facebook took down in December came from Argentina. The company pulled down 663 Facebook accounts and 388 Instagram accounts from that country. The fake accounts used artificial intelligence to generate fake profiles and mostly promoted posts and articles in Spanish about Buenos Aires’ minister of security, Sergio Berni, Facebook said.