Facebook removes 30 fake profiles, most of them backing Netanyahu
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Facebook removes 30 fake profiles, most of them backing Netanyahu

Social media company agrees to examine hundreds more suspect profiles submitted by public via tool to flag suspicious content

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

Fake news as seen on the Facebook page of Karine Nahon, head of the Israel Internet Association. (Facebook)
Fake news as seen on the Facebook page of Karine Nahon, head of the Israel Internet Association. (Facebook)

Facebook has removed 30 fake profiles, most of which belonged to supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, an Israeli cyber official said.

The profiles were submitted by members of the public following the launch earlier this month of an online tool which encourages reporting of suspect content on any social media platform.

Israel Internet Association head Prof. Karine Nahon announced Monday that Facebook had agreed to remove 30 out of 44 suspect profiles and would be examining hundreds more.

Roughly 90 percent of the profiles were pushing support for Netanyahu, while the rest were associated with backing Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid’s centrist Blue and White party, Moshe Feiglin’s right-wing Zehut and general right-wing ideology.

Nahon said it was unclear if the large amount of Netanyahu supporters among the fake profiles was a result of actual campaign methods or a reporting bias.

Prof. Karine Nahon, President of the Israel Internet Association and an associate professor at both Washington University and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, (Screenshot)

“They’re here on Facebook to divide, provoke arguments, incite, humiliate and sow destruction between us. They act on behalf of supporters, campaigners, politicians and parties. And yes, it costs a lot of money,” she wrote on Facebook.

“They’re not real. They’re fake….What’s certain is that the fake profiles’ influence on every one of us is real.”

The fake profile tool is part of a joint project involving the Israel Internet Association, the Israel Democracy Institute, Haifa University’s Law, Technology and Cyber Clinic, the Nekster tech site and the Big Bot Project of tech activists Noam Rotem and Yuval Adam.

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