With only 10 days left for the first phase of the general elections to kick in, micro-blogging website Facebook on Monday removed 687 spam Pages and accounts connected to individuals associated with the Congress Party's IT cell.
Responding to the development, the Rahul Gandhi-led party took on its official Twitter page and clarified that 'no official pages run by INC have been taken down' by Facebook. Adding that 'all pages run by the party's verified volunteers are unaffected, Congress further said that they are awaiting a response to provide them a list of all pages/accounts that they have taken down'.
Earlier addressing a press conference on the recent crackdown on the accounts by the social networking application, former MoS I&B minister and senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said:
"We don’t react of the back to news reports which may just be coming in. We would need to verify the veracity of this, whether there are any Facebook pages which are linked to us, which are being exercised in any manner. We will have to check and get back," he said in response to the question.
Facebook on Monday released a statement announcing the takedown 687 accounts, pages and groups associated with an IT Cell of the INC (Indian National Congress) from its platform.
"We removed 687 Facebook Pages and accounts — the majority of which had already been detected and suspended by our automated systems — that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior in India and were linked to individuals associated with an IT Cell of the Indian National Congress (INC)," wrote Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook in an elaborate post on the social media platform.
"The Page admins and account owners typically posted about local news and political issues, including topics like the upcoming elections, candidate views, the INC and criticism of political opponents including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our review found that it was connected to individuals associated with an INC IT Cell," the statement further read.