Facebook says it purged more than 800 spam accounts, pages

FILE - In this June 7, 2013, file photo, the Facebook "like" symbol is on display on a sign outside the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. F

FILE - In this June 7, 2013, file photo, the Facebook "like" symbol is on display on a sign outside the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. F

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says it has purged more than 800 U.S. pages and accounts for spamming users with garbage links and clickbait.

Facebook accuses their backers of "coordinated inauthentic behavior" for setting up networks of pages and accounts designed to mislead users about who they are and what they're doing.

The social network says these accounts spread "sensational political content" designed to drive people to ad-laden websites outside Facebook. In the past, such spammers have often focused on celebrity gossip, weight loss remedies and fake iPhones.

The turn toward politics suggests that spammers are learning from the Russian playbook on how to get people riled up and clicking. Facebook has been working to weed out misinformation and election meddling since it acknowledged that Russian agents abused its service in 2016.