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Facebook cracks down on Germany’s anti-COVID restriction group over “social harm” by Reuters

© Reuters. File Photo: In this figure, taken on March 25, 2020, a 3D printed Facebook logo is placed on the keyboard. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration


Elizabeth Califord

(Reuters)-Facebook has removed a network of accounts related to the anti-COVID restriction movement in Germany after announcing a new crackdown on real-world user collaboration campaigns that do harm both inside and outside the platform.

Reuters said on Thursday that Facebook (NASDAQ :)’s security team shut down influential operations using fake accounts through a large number of reports and brigades, making a coordinated group of real user accounts larger. Exclusively reported expanding the tactics used to shut down to scale.

As a related change, Facebook has been working for months to use tactics against “cooperative social harm,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy, said in a phone call with reporters Thursday.

He said that these campaigns usually include a tightly organized network of real users who systematically violate policies to do harm, such as leaving Facebook, but impact manipulation using fake accounts. And said it does not violate company rules for dangerous organizations.

This change can have significant implications for how the world’s largest social media networks handle the political and social movements organized on their sites. In a recent report on influence operations, the company stated that the main trend it saw was the ambiguity between genuine public debate and manipulation by national and international campaigns. (Https: //

How the platform should implement offline activities (often vaguely explained in the rules) is also an area of ​​discourse that is drawing attention in connection with violent incidents such as the US Capitol riots. is.

Querdenken is a movement of protesters in Germany who opposed the restriction of the coronavirus. According to Facebook, a network run by individuals associated with Querdenken uses genuine duplicate accounts to post and amplify harmful health false alarms, make malicious statements, and violence on multiple Internet services. Instigated. Facebook also said the move was linked to off-platform physical violence and COVID-related social harm.

The Keldenken movement did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Facebook, which has been scrutinized for handling the COVID w-19 false alarms that surged online between vaccine controversy and the pandemic, said it has not banned all Keldenken content from the platform.

He said he blocked domain sharing and deleted less than 150 Facebook and Instagram accounts, groups and pages.

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Facebook cracks down on Germany’s anti-COVID restriction group over “social harm” by Reuters Facebook cracks down on Germany’s anti-COVID restriction group over “social harm” by Reuters

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