Facebook removed 672000 fake accounts bot from the profile of the Ministry of Health during the pandemic, according to a data scientist from the technological - During the confinement, the Facebook profile of the Ministry of Health was filled with reactions. However, it was not the alarm state that generated a surge of activity: it was a bot.

Users of the social network immediately realized that these were fake accounts. In total, 672,000, as has now confirmed an example of the technology that was responsible for eliminating them, as has reported in a report that has been accessed Buzzfeed.

In that letter, the company's data scientist, Sophie Zhang, has warned that this type of activity occurs constantly on the platform and concerns several countries. In all these cases, the goal is the same: intervene in the social network with bots to try to influence public opinion.

That is, they are orchestrated campaigns to favor a party or to harm it. Zhang could not know who was behind the fraudulent activity interacting with the health profile, which the government itself denounced. Facebook then opened an investigation.

Zhang and his team, whose job was to track such suspicious behaviour, found that the accounts reacting to Ministry publications were very similar. They were "fake profiles," all women and "low quality," according to the same report released by Buzzfeed. That is, it was easy to identify that there were no people behind them, but that it was a bot.

Facebook removed 672000 fake accounts bot

Also, all these fake profiles reacted positively to the publications, which significantly increased the 'likes' of the health page. These hundreds of thousands of fake users had also intervened in US content for similar purposes.

Other countries affected by similar cases include Ukraine, India, Bolivia, Brazil and Ecuador. Political parties are sometimes involved in fraudulent campaigns, such as in Azerbaijan, where the opposition has used this method to harm the government.

In his report, Zhang denounces the lack of resources to stop this activity. For example, she claims that it was she who unilaterally had to make decisions about these interferences, without any further support from the company. It also warns that the activity taking place on the platform may interfere with the political course.

End of Facebook removed 672000 fake accounts bot


Health insurtech Alan launches into the Spanish market in the hand of the former CEO of Uber Eats: "the health sector is a macro-segment with many opportunities"

"The health sector is a macro-segment with many opportunities," says Alan country manager in Spain, Manel Pujol. This explains his decision to join the expansion project of French insurtech - the first digital health insurer in Europe — the former CEO of Uber Eats.

Alan was born in Paris (France) in 2016 from the hand of Jean-Charles Samuelian and Charles Gorintin (ex Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and since then it has grown to serve over 5,000 businesses and over 80,000 employees. "Great growth is expected in France for this year and the next," Pujol says.

Last year, it invoiced more than 50 million euros and since 2019 it is included in the Next40 ranking, prepared by the French government and which includes 40 French startups chosen for their status as unicorns or based on large economic projections.

Alan's goal since his birth was to compete in the major leagues of the insurance industry with a simple product through a website and an application, explains Pujol. Overall, it has become a major player in a sector that is constantly growing: according to the latest study by Everis and NTT Data, between 2017 and 2019, the insurtech ecosystem has received $ 6.3 billion worldwide

The startup obtained an official health insurance license in France (which facilitates its international leap) and raised more than 75 million euros in two years in the Welsh country. In February it raised 50 million euros in a round of financing led by Temasek, funds that it has invested in its landing in Spain and Belgium.

"After 4 years, the expansion was natural," says Pujol, who explains that the Spanish market is very attractive to bring to it "what we have learned".

"In Spain there is a very large private insurance sector," explains Alan's country manager in Spain.

And what are those tools? "We have focused on having a 100% digital product, very simple and transparent," explains Pujol, who explains that his service has no copayment and what is covered is clear from the start. "We have more than 40,000 medical professionals, so customers will have any specialty covered," he says.

The country manager acknowledges that the Spanish healthcare system is different from the French one, which can be a challenge for insurtech, but says he sees it as an opportunity to"learn from a new market".

On the other hand, he points out that the biggest challenge and one of the most ambitious goals is to achieve proximity to customers to understand their needs.

"When you start you have to know your market very well, be very close to customers", reflects Pujol. "In the end, what sets us apart in our product is the closeness and collaboration with customers and that has to be established from the beginning," he explains, assuring that it is the goal to which the entire team is committed.

The country manager has no concerns about data privacy and says that "the protection of user data is one of the company's values and we operate to the highest standards". Pujol explains that the app learns from the data to determine, for example, which doctors are most in demand and improve the user experience.

"The insurance sector lives on data: how to get more data to make life easier for the customer," said Marcos Garcia, CEO of Verti in Spain, at the VII Smart Business meeting on the insurance sector organized by Business Insider Spain.

In addition, a study by the Cocktail on this point allows optimism in this regard: 70% of users are willing to give their data to insurers in exchange for a personal offer.

Although in France Alan has already started to provide service to individuals, in Spain for now they will only focus on companies.

"Health insurance had become a benefit that more and more companies offer because workers demand it," says Pujol.

The country manager does not share figures of the objectives Alan aspires to reach in Spain in terms of market share, but he says his intention is to create value and serve the target segment that are "SMEs in the technology sector".

"We are not going to limit ourselves only to them," he warns, but recognizes that it is a segment with which they can have more affinity and notes that "the priority for what remains of the year and the next is to have a high penetration in this sector".

"If we succeed it will mean that we have a good product and that we understand the needs well," he concludes.

The country manager also points out that Alan goes "at cruising speed in France", so it is very likely that the decisions made there on how insurtech should evolve "will eventually reach Spain".

Along These Lines, CEO and co-founder Jean-Charles Samuelian has made it clear in recent interviews that his vision is to become "everyone's health partner, in France and soon throughout Europe" and has warned that he wants Alan to be much more than an insurance service.

"We want our members to be able to use the Alan app to access instant information when they are concerned about their health, find and communicate with professionals, or receive personalized, proactive health advice," he said.

In France, the application already has some extra features such as the ability to find a doctor or a nearby laboratory by geolocation (Alan Maps); and even, due to the crisis of the coronavirus incorporated a tool for companies to order free masks for their employees.

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