Anti-Gay Trolls Made 7,000 Fake Profiles to Attack Facebook Page

The New York Times has a nice profile of the Facebook team that tries to deal with abusive speech on the site. Buried in it was an astounding fact about the scope of anti-gay trolling around Spirit Day, an event to commemorate gay teens who'd committed suicide. People who wanted to deface the Spirit Day event page made 7,000 fake profiles over 10 days.

"Most of the hateful content was coming from fake profiles," said James Mitchell, who is Mr. Willner's supervisor and leads the team. He said that because most of these profiles, created by people he called "trolls," were connected to those of other trolls, Facebook could track down and block an entire network relatively quickly. Using the system, Mr. Willner and his colleagues silenced dozens of troll accounts, and the page became usable again. But trolls are repeat offenders, and it took Mr. Willner and his colleagues nearly 10 days of monitoring the page around the clock to take down over 7,000 profiles that kept surfacing to attack the Spirit Day event page.

Read the full story at the New York Times.