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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Needs More Time to Fix Issue of Fake News

The first note will be about the steps Facebook is taking to prevent election interference on Facebook, which is timely with the US mid-terms and Brazilian presidential elections approaching

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Zuckerberg seeks more time to fix Facebook. Pixabay
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As countries over the world including India face elections amid the spread of fake news and political interference on social media platforms, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asked for some more time to fix his network that has over two billion users.

In a post on Friday, Zuckerberg said that Facebook started on the platform sanitising project in 2017 and “even this work will extend through 2019, I do expect us to end this year on a significantly better trajectory than when we entered it”.

“My personal challenge for 2018 has been to fix the most important issues facing Facebook — whether that’s defending against election interference by nation states, protecting our community from abuse and harm, or making sure people have control of their information,” the Facebook founder wrote.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

After his grilling in the US Congress in April over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and the Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, COO Sheryl Sandberg again testified at the US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on election security on September 5.

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Along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, she faced the committee which is probing the Russian interference from an angle to publicly hold Facebook and Twitter accountable for allowing Russian operatives on their platforms.

“I’m spending a lot of time on these issues, and as the year winds down I’m going to write a series of notes outlining how I’m thinking about them and the steps we’re taking to address them,” said Zuckerberg.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, May 23, 2018. VOA
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

The first note will be about the steps Facebook is taking to prevent election interference on Facebook, which is timely with the US mid-terms and Brazilian presidential elections approaching.

“I’ll write about privacy, encryption and business models, and then about content governance and enforcement as well in the coming months,” he added. (IANS)

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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect Elections Globally

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference

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Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay

In order to further secure candidates and campaign staff vulnerable to hackers and nation-state actors during the elections, Facebook has introduced additional tools to protect political campaigns in the US and around the world.

The social media giant has launched a pilot programme to expand its existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

“Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Gleicher added.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Over the past year, the company has invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections.

“This pilot programme is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world,” said Facebook.

“As we detect abuse, we will continue to share relevant information with law enforcement and other companies so we can maximise our effectiveness,” it added.

According to a report in Download, a working paper released last week revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since the 2016 US presidential elections.

“At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million,” the report added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference.

“Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” he told the lawmakers.

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The Facebook CEO apologised for what happened and took responsibility for everything. He also said that there is an online propaganda “arms race” with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he testified before a 44-Senator panel. (IANS)