Tech Overlook

Removing Spam and Inauthentic Activity from Facebook in Brazil


Authenticity is a core value at Facebook. It’s why we ask that people use their real name and why we prohibit fake accounts and other tactics bad actors use to misrepresent their identity. Today, as part of our ongoing efforts to protect our community from this type of abuse, Facebook removed 68 Pages and 43 accounts associated with a Brazilian marketing group, Raposo Fernandes Associados (RFA), for violating our misrepresentation and spam policies.

The people behind RFA created Pages using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names, which violates our Community Standards. They then used those Pages to post massive amounts of clickbait intended to direct people to websites that are entirely separate from Facebook and appear legitimate, but are actually ad farms. Our decision to remove these Pages was based on the behavior of these actors – including using fake accounts and repeatedly posting spam – rather than on the type of content they were posting. This behavior was detected on Facebook but, as yet, we have not found similar misuse on Instagram or WhatsApp.

While spam commonly involves the offer of fraudulent products or services, we have seen spammers increasingly using sensational political content — across the political spectrum — to build an audience and drive traffic to their websites, earning money for every visitor to the site. The RFA assets we removed were engaging in this type of elicit behavior.

We are continuously working to uncover this kind of abuse, and we know that the people behind it — whether economically or politically motivated — are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in their tactics. Today’s announcement of the removal of these Pages is just one of the many steps we have taken to prevent bad actors from interfering with Brazil’s elections on Facebook. We will continue to invest heavily in safety and security in order to keep bad actors off of our platform and ensure that people can continue to trust the connections they make on Facebook.

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