Fake accounts aren’t a new thing for Facebook in 2019. The company deleted over 3 billion fake Facebook accounts. And the number is still counting. But it is still flooded with millions of fake accounts and news sites that spread false information like wildfire.
Just a few weeks ago, Facebook announced to remove content with false claims and conspiracy theories regarding Coronavirus. And now that the US Presidental elections are nearing, the situation has blown up. So, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites are in a hunt to remove fake news sites and pages. And the first on the list is “North Carolina Breaking News.”
Facebook Vs. North Carolina Breaking News
The admin of the page posted a picture of actor Alec Baldwin and introduced themselves as “Adrik.” And in just a month, the North Carolina Breaking News was able to garner more than 50,000 followers. The “satire/parody” posting page was created to help President Donald Trump win the presidential elections in November once again. But that is just one of the many problems people have found with the page.
In addition to some legitimate news, the NC was found posting numerous fake news and misleading its 50K followers. According to the Winston-Salem police, the page had been sharing false stories about their officers. Even though the news is positive, it wasn’t the Winston-Salem police department that did it. And by sharing this incorrect information, the NC merely is misleading its readers and followers. And when the police tried contacting the admins, they “were met with Russian responses.”
Could it be the Russians Interfering With the Election?
“The Russian responses” was already a big deal, but the page had previously shared posts written in Russian. This sparked the rumors that it is a foreign bot trying to interfere in the upcoming elections.
When the McClatchy News tried to get in touch with the page, the admins told the site that they were N.C. State University students in Raleigh but didn’t provide any names. And that they were conducting a “social media project to see how fast news will spread.” And in a private message, the admin wrote, “truth is not the goal. Getting Trump re-elected is the ultimate goal.”
But a spokesperson from the university reported having no knowledge of any such project. Thus, the page has been removed by Facebook.