Facebook Tries To Balance Elections In Nicaragua

The social network made a decision that represents a severe blow to the Daniel Ortega regime in the face of elections in Nicaragua where political persecution of the opposition has been the protagonist.

Person on Facebook page from his laptop

Last month, META (as the Facebook corporation is now known), removed more than 1,000 false accounts on its Facebook and Instagram platforms that, the multinational warned, supported the dictatorship. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Facebook intenta equilibrar las elecciones en Nicaragua

This week, the platform that serves to connect millions of people and that has been one of the key social networks in the political landscape, made the decision to eliminate a troll farm near Daniel Ortega. In this way, Facebook warned that the official party "Sandinista National Liberation Front" was using false accounts on the network to artificially influence public opinion.

Last month, META (as the Facebook corporation is now known), deleted more than 1,000 false accounts on its Facebook and Instagram platforms that, according to the multinational, supported the dictatorship. There were exactly 937 accounts on Facebook and 140 on Instagram.

According to the company, in addition to the false accounts, it also deleted 140 pages and 24 groups that were linked to the government party and did not comply with the policies of the social network.

Ben Nimmo, Meta's Global Intelligence Leader for Influence Operations, said in a statement released by META that his group works to "coordinated inauthentic behavior in the context of domestic, non-government campaigns and coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government actor."

Nimmo also warned that this has been the closest they have found to "whole-of-government operation we’ve seen" and that the news was produced on WordPress and Blogspot and then amplified on META's social networks, but also on Tik Tok, Twitter, Telegram, Youtube, among others that are not part of the company.

The investigation revealed that the troll farm was operated from the Correos center by employees of TELCOR, the Nicaraguan Institute of telecommunications and postal services.

Also read: What Is At Stake In The Latin American Elections Remaining In 2021

It may already be too late to balance the electoral landscape in the country. The elections to be held on November 7, already seem to have a winner: the dictator Ortega. This, due to the political persecution that the entire state apparatus has exercised against opposition groups. Going to jail various presidential candidates and candidates, opinion leaders, and media executives away from the Government.

According to the observatory called Mechanism for the Recognition of Political Prisoners, in Nicaragua, there are 159 political prisoners. Among these, stand out the candidate Cristiana Chamorro and several other opposition politicians.

What is a troll farm?

Troll farms are a set of fake accounts that work in concert to favor or attack different groups, parties, or political movements, even the same candidates. Traditionally, they are linked to the production and repetition of fake news that generates changes or influences public opinion in an orchestrated way.

The greater the number of trolls or bots, you can also position words in trending topics (or viral content that social networks favor) in an artificial way and thus be able to manipulate public opinion, mostly for electoral purposes.