Facebook recently announced that it banned a digital marketing group in the Philippines, Twinmark Media Enterprises and all its subsidiaries, from the social media platform.
In a press briefing spearheaded by Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy of Facebook, revealed that the organization has repeatedly violated Facebook’s misrepresentation and spam policies by means of coordinated inauthentic behavior, usage of fake accounts, channeling of people to ad farms, and selling of access to Facebook pages to artificially increase distribution and generate profit.
The move is part of Facebook’s ongoing activities toward combatting two types of cybersecurity challenges: the traditional ones like hacking and phishing, and the attempts to manipulate public discussion by artificial means.
After a thorough investigation which started in November last year, Facebook arrived to a conclusion, resulting in the ban of all assets associated with Twinmark which include: 220 Facebook pages, 73 Facebook accounts, and 29 Instagram accounts. About 43 million accounts followed at least one of these Facebook pages, such as Filipino Channel Online (10.4 million), Gorgeous Me (5.7 million), Unhappy (4.9 million), Text Message (4.4 million), and TNP Media (4.3 million).
Gleicher explained that Facebook’s decision to ban the network is based on the behavior of the actors behind these pages, and not on the nature of content. He also mentioned that while the motive behind the network’s activities are not yet determined, Facebook already informed the Philippine government about the ban through the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
“We are continuously working to uncover this 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,” Gleicher added.