Facebook closes fake news pages in Poland

May 21st, 2019 (last updated)

WARSAW — Facebook has closed 27 pages in Poland for spreading fake news and hate-filled content ahead of the European parliamentary elections, the civil rights group Avaaz said on Friday.

The pages, which had a total of close to two million followers, were reported for containing “anti-Semitic, anti-Islam, anti-migrant, anti-LGBT and anti-feminist” content, Avaaz said in a statement.

“We have closed a number of counterfeit and duplicate accounts that infringed on our rules of authenticity, as well as a number of pages for changing names and other violations,” a spokesman for Facebook Poland told AFP, without specifying further.

Avaaz welcomed Facebook’s “rapid reaction” to its investigation.

Nevertheless, campaign director Christoph Schott said that “with the European elections approaching, Facebook needs to undertake an urgent and complete health check on its European platform and suppress all fraudulent and toxic content.”

Last week, following a similar investigation in Italy, Facebook closed 23 mostly pro-government pages, with nearly 2.5 million followers, for spreading fake news and anti-immigrant content.

And in April it removed three far-right networks in Spain with some 17 pages and 1.4 million followers.

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