Just before general elections, Facebook said on Monday that it has removed 687 pages and accounts linked to individuals related to social media cell of Congress.
The tech giant said that "coordinated inauthentic behavior" led to action against these pages. It underlined these particular pages weren't spreading fake news but pushed spam messages.
Meanwhile, Congress said none of its official pages were taken down.
Facebook was jolted by Cambridge Analytica scandal last year
In the run-up for elections, Indian government warned the tech giants of strong action if their platform is used to influence the election in any manner.
Last year, Facebook's Cambridge Analyticascandal came to fore wherein data of millions of users were harvested for political gains.
It was alleged that targeted advertisements and posts helped Donald Trump win the 2016 Presidential elections.
Official said Facebook can't be used to "manipulate people"
Fresh out of a major controversy, it seems Facebook didn't want to take chances with elections in the largest democracy, hence took action against pages linked to Congress.
Informing of the decision, Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher said most of the pages had been detected and suspended by "automated systems".
"We don't want our services to be used to manipulate people," he said.
Gleicher explained the reason behind crackdown
"When we remove one of these networks, the reason we remove them is because of their coordinated inauthentic behavior, that they are using the network of fake accounts to conceal their identity... to mislead who's behind them. That's the basic reason for removal," Gleicher explained.
Posts which Facebook removed were critical of PM Modi
Gleicher added the page admins usually posted local news and views of candidates.
Facebook shared details of two posts it removed. Both of them were critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and heaped praises on his main opponent Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Gleicher added the company reached out to Congress to "educate them" about the policies and answer their questions too.
We are waiting for a response from Facebook: Congress
This is to clarify no official pages run by INC have been taken down. Additionally, all pages run by our verified volunteers are also unaffected.
In the mean time, we are awaiting a response from Facebook to provide us a list of all pages/accounts that they have taken down.