Facebook removes more than 800 political accounts and pages

Facebook on Thursday said it was getting rid of more than 800 pages and accounts for overwhelming users with politically motivated content that broke the social media company's spam rules.

Taking a step that could restart accusations of trying to silence certain points of view ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, Facebook said it wasn't moving against accounts because of the content they posted but instead due to their behavior. 

The offending actions included spamming Facebook groups with identical pieces of content and using phony profiles, Facebook said.

"Today, we're removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior," the company said in a blog post. "People will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here."

Facebook has faced ongoing scrutiny since Russian agents used the social-media platform to sway American voters before the 2016 presidential election. 

Separately, Facebook has disabled dozens of accounts and profiles belonging to Russian database provider SocialDataHub for the unauthorized collection of user information, Reuters reported on Thursday. "We expect to find and disable more," Facebook said of the violations of its user terms by SocialDataHub, which has sold analytical services to the Russian government.

Today's moves by Facebook follow its purging of 652 accounts in late August that it said were casting political spin from entities in Iran and Russia.