FACEBOOK has secretly banned three far-right groups that had been spreading hateful propaganda across Spain only days ahead of the country’s general election.
The bogus profiles had reached more than 1.5 million followers and generate almost 7.4 million interactions in only three months, before being removed.
The far-right activity was not picked up by the social media giant but was instead uncovered by an online activist network called Avaaz.
“Facebook did a great job in acting fast, but these networks are likely just the tip of the disinformation iceberg — and if Facebook doesn’t scale up, such operations could sink democracy across the continent,” said Christoph Schott, campaign director at Avaaz.
The material shared included fake claims that ‘foreigners’ committed the majority of rapes in Spain.
Other posts featured the head of Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias superimposed onto the body of Hitler.
“This is how hate goes viral. A bunch of extremists use fake and duplicate accounts to create entire networks to fake public support for their divisive agenda,” said Schott
“It’s how voters were misled in the US, and it happened again in Spain.”