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Facebook is going after coordinated social harm by authentic users, but will this affect legitimate social movements?

Given recent incidents in India, the platform’s decision raises questions about its effects on free speech and high-profile users.

Facebook is going after coordinated groups of authentic accounts engaging in harmful activities on its platform, Reuters reported on Friday. This is different from coordinated operations by fake accounts, such as those carried out by Russian troll farms, that the company has so far gone after. But given the platform's history in India and the recent experiences of Twitter, this kind of moderation is easier said than done. What is Facebook targeting? Following the Reuters report, Facebook published its own blog that sheds more light on what the company is targeting—coordinated social harm. Coordinated social harm: "Coordinated social harm campaigns typically involve networks of primarily authentic users who organize to systematically violate our policies to cause harm on or off our platform," Facebook said. While Facebook already removes content and accounts violating its Community Standards, sometimes organised groups work together to amplify their members’ harmful behavior and repeatedly violate the platform's content policies, the company said. "In these cases, the potential for harm caused by the totality of the network’s activity far exceeds the impact of each individual post or account," Facebook highlighted. Examples of coordinated social harm include: Mass reporting and brigading:  "Mass reporting, where many users falsely report a target's content or account to get it shut down, or brigading, a type of online harassment where users might coordinate to target an individual through mass posts or comments," the Reuters report stated as examples. US Capitol riot: In the aftermath of the January 6 riot on the US Capitol, BuzzFeed News published an…

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