Calling it “one of the most significant take downs in the world,” Facebook on Friday told the Philippine government it deleted 220 FB pages and 73 accounts and 29 Instagram accounts connected to a local digital marketing company and its subsidiaries.
One of the pages, operated by Twinmark Media Enterprises, was followed by 43-million accounts, mostly from the Filipino community, the social media giant told the government.
Facebook completely removed all of Twinmark’s accounts and all its subsidiaries from its platform earlier on Friday, said Nathaniel Gleicher, head of the company’s Cybersecurity Policy group.
Some of Twinmarks’ most popular pages are “Filipino Channel Online,” “Gorgeous Me,” “Unhappy,” “Text Message,” and “TNP Media.”
“This is one of the most significant take downs in the world. We’re not just removing the violating behavior, we are removing the entire organization,” Gleicher said.
“When we take an action like this we don’t take an action based on the nature of the content of the page … Instead, we’re looking at the behavior, which is the selling of these pages and the spam policies,” the Facebook executive emphasized.
Twinmark Media was caught repeatedly violating Facebook’s spam policies and manipulating public information “through coordinated inauthentic behavior, using fake accounts, and selling administration access to Facebook pages to increase profit.”
“We have notified the Philippine government already regarding it, but we don’t recommend what the government should do. We’re more focused on removing the violating behavior from our platform,” Gleicher said.
An example of Twinmark’s violation, Gleicher said, is changing the name of its Facebook pages after gathering a large following and substantially changing the page’s subject matter, which violates Facebook’s policies on misleading and manipulating followers.
Facebook has taken down more than 20 organizations like Twinmark’s all over the world the previous year,” Gleicher said. “Our team is continuously looking for these types of behavior. And as we find these clusters, we will take them down,” he added.
Facebook initiated investigations as early as November 2018, when it first identified the group selling access to their Facebook pages.