Facebook zaps 'sensational political content' tied to Brazilian election

It's clickbait, and Facebook is saying "enough already."

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou

Samples of the removed pages and accounts linked to RFA. 


More pages and accounts got kicked off of Facebook .

The social network on Tuesday said it has removed 68 pages and 43 accounts linked to Brazilian marketing group Raposo Fernandes Associados for violating the company's misrepresentation and spam policies.

RFA used fake accounts and pages to post huge amounts of clickbait, much of it sensational political content, that directed users to websites that were actually ad farms, according to Facebook's blog post. The social network said this removal is one of the many steps it's taken to prevent interference in the Brazilian elections. 

In this case as in others like it, Facebook said, the interference has less to do with ideology and more to do with profits.

"We have seen spammers increasingly using sensational political content — across the political spectrum — to build an audience and drive traffic to their websites, earning money for every visitor to the site," Facebook said in its blog post.

Earlier this month, Facebook set up a "war room" to combat fake news and misinformation on its platform for the Brazilian presidential election and the US midterm elections coming up in November. The company is relying on both humans and machines to police the huge amounts of content on its site.  

Facebook said it hasn't detected any similar misuse on Instagram or WhatsApp.

Watch this: Go inside Facebook's election war room

RFA couldn't be reached for comment.