Facebook removes fake Italian accounts ahead of EU election

ROME (AP) — Facebook says it has shut down some Italian accounts that were phony and pages that were spreading fake news ahead of European Union parliamentary elections.

The social network said Sunday it "removed a number of fake and duplicate accounts that were violating our authenticity polices, as well as multiple pages for name change."

The company said it "took action against some additional pages that repeatedly posted misinformation."

Facebook took action last week after being tipped off by the campaign group Avaaz.

Avaaz said in a separate statement that its investigation found 23 Italian Facebook pages that were spreading false information such as made up quotes and "divisive" content.

It said the pages had about 2.5 million followers, and more than a dozen of the pages supported rightwing and populist parties.

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