Facebook Announces New Measures To Protect the Integrity During Elections

On October 21, 2019, Facebook announced measures to “stop abuses and interference during the elections”. The U.S. firm plans to hold the next elections in America in November 2020. Its program is based on three pillars: combating foreign interference, increasing transparency of information and reducing misinformation.

Facebook announces new measures to protect the integrity of its platform during the U.S. elections
Facebook wants to increase its attention to the next American elections, which will be held in November 2020. On October 21, 2019, the digital giant published a list of measures aimed at “promoting the protection of the democratic process. Its program is based on three pillars: combating foreign interference, improving transparency and reducing misinformation.

Instagram is a new platform for fake news

It is noteworthy that on the same day, Facebook announced the suspension of the Instagram fake accounts network from Russia, which misled U.S. citizens. It is reported that the network was close to the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian organization associated with the Kremlin, previously accused of disrupting the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

The U.S. firm also reportedly blocked three separate networks operating in Iran. According to Express, one of the Russian groups exchanged provocative publications representing various political interests and touching on topical issues such as “American elections, environmental problems, racial tensions, LGBT problems …”, explained Nathaniel Gleicher, Cyber Security Manager at Facebook.

The first step Facebook plans to take is to notify its users when the message was published by state-controlled media. The company, with the help of 40 experts, will develop a definition of “controlled media”. At the beginning of 2020, Facebook plans to extend this label to “specific publications” and introduce it into Instagram.

Launch of the “Facebook Protection” program

The company also launches the Facebook Protect program. This program should strengthen the security of Facebook and Instagram accounts for candidates, officials and their teams. In practical terms, participants will need to be able to provide two-factor authentication and their accounts will benefit from enhanced monitoring. Facebook has also announced a ban on any advertising that encourages American women not to vote.

“Make the platform more stable

“Our ultimate goal is not only to block these manipulations (…), but also to make the platform more sustainable,” said Nathanielle Gleicher. It’s not easy for a social network of about three billion users. Simply put, we have to keep an eye on everything at once. But Facebook is aware of its shortcomings. The implementation of these measures should improve “understanding of the various threats and ways to counter them.

It is difficult to assess the effectiveness of these measures right away. Now we have to wait until the election campaign starts to make sure that they have borne fruit. But they reflect a company like Facebook’s understanding of its role in the electoral process. However, some observers criticize Facebook’s decision not to ban advertisements in presidential campaigns that contain false information. A choice that Mark Zuckerberg himself justifies by his desire not to play the role of censor.

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