Facebook announced Thursday that it had suspended 30,000 suspicious accounts in France as the social-media giant moves to weed out fake news and misinformation. The company announced the measure in a blog post, saying the accounts were suspended for their unusually high volumes of posting activity and large audiences. The company has reportedly fine-tuned its methods for detecting fake accounts, and one of the primary motivators for the suspensions was said to be the upcoming election in France. “We’ve made improvements to recognize these inauthentic accounts more easily by identifying patterns of activity—without assessing the content itself,” Shabnam Shaik, a security team manager at Facebook, said in Thursday’s blog post. Social-media sites are under increasing pressure to find and eliminate sources of misinformation, fake news, and hate speech as governments throughout Europe threaten to impose fines and other legal consequences on websites hosting questionable content. Advertisers have also taken a stand against the propagation of fake news and extremist materials, with YouTube recently facing boycotts by advertisers over bigoted and extremist videos.
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