On Wednesday, Facebook has removed as many as 50 professional and personal pages that were connected to Roger Stone. He is the longtime adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump who is due to report to prison next week.
Stone and his associates use fake accounts to promote his books. Additionally, he was also a prominent supporter of the right-wing “Proud Boys group” in the state of Florida. Facebook moved came against Stone the same day it took down accounts that were tied to the employees of the family of Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro.
Facebook’s cybersecurity policy head, Nathaniel Gleicher, said that the removals were meant to show that they would stop artificially inflating engagement for political impact.
Gleicher said, “It doesn’t matter what they’re saying, and it doesn’t matter who they are.” She further added, “We expect we’re going to see more political actors cross this line and use coordinated inauthentic behavior to try to influence public debate.”
Some Facebook officials said that they have taken down Stone’s personal Instagram and Facebook pages. They have also taken down his Stone Cold Truth Facebook page which had as much as 141,000 followers. Furthermore, a total of 50 pages and54 Facebook accounts were removed for misbehavior. This included the creation of fake accounts. Facebook said that the accounts have spent more than $300,000 on advertisements.
However, previously, Facebook has been accused of suppressing right-wing voices. Last month, Facebook took down an ad for Trump re-election campaign that included a Nazi symbol.
Recently, Facebook has come under intense scrutiny and pressure from allied groups as well as civil rights advocates. Boycott movement lead by those groups has been joined by hundreds of advertisers demanding the company to crack down on divisive and hateful messages.