Disinformation in Europe: 500 suspicious groups detected on Facebook
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    Disinformation in Europe: 500 suspicious groups detected on Facebook

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The NGO Avaaz has said it has identified over 500 suspicious pages and groups on Facebook suspected of disseminating fake news within the EU ahead of the European elections. This has enabled Facebook to withdraw content totalling over 500 million views in the past three months, according to Avaaz, which is active in the fight against cybercrime. A Europe-wide report that it has placed online, shows the size of certain extreme-right or anti-EU networks that practice disinformation and/or disseminate hate speech on social media.

    Awaaz explains in this regard that it alerted Facebook to 500 suspicious pages and groups followed by close to 32 million users, who generated over 67 million interactions (comments, likes and shares) over the past three months.

    During the same period, content linked to these groups and pages, which often seek to stir up hate against migrants or to denigrate Brussels, generated 533 million views.

    Avaaz said Facebook had already withdrawn 77 pages and accounts to which it had been alerted and which “accounted for three times more subscribers (5.9 million) than the six main extreme right or anti-EU” groups, namely the League, AfD, VOX, the Brexit party, RN and PiS., which total 2.2 million.

    The NGO was happy with the closure of the accounts but is calling on the social media network to redouble its efforts.

    “Facebook has allowed too much suspicious activity and negative content to spread,” Avaaz argued.

    The U.S.-based NGO has launched a campaign baptised “Correct the record” to oblige Facebook to show to everyone who has already viewed content identified as false by the fact-checking services, the articles that contradict them.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times