Widely Viewed Content Report, Second Quarter 2022

By Anna Stepanov, Head of Facebook Integrity and David Agranovich, Director, Threat Disruption

Today, we’re publishing the Widely Viewed Content Report (WVCR) for the second quarter of 2022. This report highlights the most-viewed organic content in Feed on Facebook in the US, including domains, links, Pages and posts. It includes content recommended by Facebook and excludes advertising content. See the full report and Companion Guide for more information. 

Updates and Enforcements

This report shows five links and one post that we removed from Facebook for violating our Inauthentic Behavior (IB) policy. Content with links to the domains responsible for these violations can no longer be created/shared on Facebook. Similarly, the Page responsible for the post and its content are no longer accessible on Facebook for violating our Inauthentic Behavior policy

We also note in this report that we’ve removed one of the top posts for violating our Intellectual Property policy. We removed it after receiving a complete copyright report for the content. Learn more about how we protect intellectual property rights.

Insights from the WVCR help inform how we update our existing policies and products, and develop new ones to address harmful or otherwise objectionable content. For example, we’ve been testing new ways to reduce clickbait, engagement bait and spam. While we’re seeing improvements from these tests, we will need to continually evaluate and refine our approach given how spam operators try to adapt their tactics to evade our new ways of detecting them. We’ll continue to test and improve solutions to reduce engagement bait, misinformation and content from Pages that repeatedly violate our Community Standards.

In Focus: Foreign Spammers Marketing to US Audiences

In our previous WVCR report, we shared that the ninth-most viewed link on Facebook with over 33 million views in the first quarter of this year was alltrendytees[.]com. After the Integrity Institute had flagged it to us, we investigated and blocked this domain for violating our IB policy. Our investigation linked this domain to GearLaunch, a Bangladesh-based e-commerce firm.

In total, we removed over 500 inauthentic and authentic accounts, Pages and Groups run by these spammers. We also blocked additional domains that engaged in the same behavior and were linked to GearLaunch. We will keep taking action against this activity because we know that adversarial actors like this may try to come back and create new websites.

In addition to running fake accounts to spam people with links and drive them to off-platform domains selling print-on-demand t-shirts, they also engaged in what we call “guiding adversarial activity” where they facilitated and coached people on how to evade detection and enforcement. They generated “how-to” YouTube videos where they taught people how to deceptively build their audience while posing as Americans and monetize by selling topical t-shirts through their print-on-demand websites. T-shirt designs ranged from hobby-related images like fishing to professional areas like accounting to political slogans and images.

This case continues the trend we’ve previously reported where IB operators pretend that they’re based in one country, when in reality, they’re running their monetization schemes out of a different one. This often includes foreign spammers and scammers flocking to any relevant everyday interests or hot-button issues that are relevant in a particular country or region — like an election or a socio-political crisis — to amass an audience and monetize their attention. For example, we’ve seen financially-motivated actors from around the world leverage significant events — like the Canadian trucker protests, the US 2020 elections, the war in Ukraine and the recent election in the Philippines — to build audiences and make money. We expect to see attempts at this kind of activity increase in the US as we get closer to the midterms. So we will stay vigilant to it and respond whenever we see it, while also fine tuning our detection and enforcement systems to make sure we stay ahead of it.

An example of a spammer's Facebook post.

 

An example of a spammer's Facebook post.

 

An example of a spammer's Facebook post.

 

An example of a spammer's Facebook post.

 

An example of a spammer's Instagram post.

Images: Examples of Facebook and Instagram posts by spammers

 



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