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This article was published on September 17, 2021

Facebook adopts a new troll battling technique — but it’s got bigger problems from its past

Aggressive step or a late reaction?

Facebook adopts a new troll battling technique — but it’s got bigger problems from its past
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Facebook says that it now uses the same techniques as bot removal to combat human trolls and spammers. The company told Reuters that this new approach is similar to what its security team uses to shut down networks of Russian troll farms.

The social network is saying it’s handling notorious groups that engage in false mass reporting of posts or accounts to get them removed by moderators. It’s also targeting networks trying to cause ‘social harm,’ on and off platforms.

The company removed one such group based in Germany this week that was trying to spread misinformation and create conspiracy theories about the country’s COVID-related restrictions.

The Reuters report noted that the company is looking to find the core of these campaigns and their network effects, rather than targeting individual posts.

After the tumultuous 2016 US Presidential elections, Facebook was accused of playing a massive role in facilitating misinformation campaigns that resulted in Donald Trump’s victory. In the aftermath of that exposé, the company changed its tactics for handling groups spreading misinformation and creating controversial theories about politicians and activists.

Facebook's "indefinite" ban on Donald Trump could be lifted by the company's Oversight Board.

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