Snopes Tips: How to Spot Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior

People and groups sometimes hide their identities on social media in order to mislead and/or influence people for political or financial ends.

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coordinated inauthentic behavior
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Coordinated inauthentic behavior by individuals and groups on social media can be quite easy to see, if you know where to look. Facebook pages and groups have different indicators that, together, can help users better understand the content they’re consuming, and who may be behind it. 

Page Transparency

Every Facebook page has a section called “Page Transparency” that allows users to see the countries from which page managers are posting content. It also displays past name changes for that page. In mobile view, the section appears a little bit before you scroll to page posts. In desktop view, it appears on the right side of the page. Facebook groups do not have a transparency feature.

‘Like and Share!’

Take note if a page posts an endless onslaught of memes, asking readers to “Like and Share!” This alone does not mean that rules are being broken, but it is something Snopes staff often observe when investigating networks of coordinated inauthentic behavior.  

Page creation date

If a page or group about U.S. politics says it was created three weeks ago, for example, and it’s highly political, and it appears to not be run from inside the U.S., that’s a good lead to investigate. To find the page or group creation date, click “Page Transparency” on pages or the “About” page in groups.

Verified?

If a Facebook page is “verified,” a blue badge displays next to the profile or page name and it likely represents the organization or person it claims to represent. To obtain the blue-badge page, administrators must provide documentation to Facebook to verify their authenticity. No blue badge? Stay alert.

Admins

Facebook gives users the ability to see who the administrators are for groups only (not for pages). This can sometimes lead to quick clues that some political groups are foreign-run, despite claiming to be run from inside the U.S. In Facebook groups, click “Members” to see the page that lists admins, moderators, and members.

Use these pointers to help you spot red flags and see whether page administrators are being forthright about where they operate. And if you see something fishy, send us a tip.

More from Snopes: What Is ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’? 

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