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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect EU Polls

The EU officials had criticised Facebook in January for not rolling out proper systems to tackle disinformation fast on its platform

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook has introduced new tools to protect the integrity of the European Parliament elections in May.

Richard Allan, Vice President, Global Policy Solutions at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday that the aim was to prevent online advertising from being used for foreign interference and increase transparency around all forms of political and issue advertising.

“To help prevent abuse and interference, all the European Union (EU) advertisers will need to be authorised in their country to run ads related to the European Parliament elections,” said Allan.

Facebook will ask them to submit documents and use technical checks to confirm their identity and location.

“Importantly, this means that all the people who are reaching you with ads identified as related to politics or issues have been authorized as being in your country and will be required to provide accurate information about who they are,” Facebook emphasised.

The social media giant said to increase transparency, all ads related to politics and issues on Facebook and Instagram in the EU must be clearly labelled — including a “Paid for by” disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the ad.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

“We are inviting all political campaigns to start the ads authorization process now and we will start to block political or issue ads that have not been properly registered from mid-April,” Allan said.

Facebook has built an Ad Library to make it easy for everyone to find out about political or issue ads on its platforms.

“Here you will see all the ads that have been classified as relating to politics or issues and we will keep them in the library for seven years,” said the company.

Also Read- Air-polluted Cities On Increase In Asia, Coal Addiction Puts Chokehold

Facebook said it is expanding access to its API so that news organisations, regulators, watchdog groups and people can hold advertisers and the social media giant more accountable.

“We’re also making transparency information more visible on Pages, expanding access to our API to help more people analyze political or issue ads, and exempting news publishers from labelling their ads as related to politics or issues in the US,” added Satwik Shukla, Product Manager at Facebook.

The EU officials had criticised Facebook in January for not rolling out proper systems to tackle disinformation fast on its platform. (IANS)

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Facebook Loses its Place in Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work’ List

The Top-100 list by Glassdoor is for large organisations or those with at least 1,000 employees. It bases its rankings on eight factors, including work/life balance, compensation and benefits and senior management, among others

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Mired in several controversies amid break-up calls from the US lawmakers, Facebook has once again slipped off Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” list for a second year in a row.

Facebook dropped to 23rd best place to work, falling 16 spots from last year’s position, and its award score fell from a 4.5 to 4.4 out of a perfect 5, according to the annual listing by the leading job website.

The top three spots are occupied by leading growth platform HubSpot, management consultancy firm Bain & Company and market leader in electronic signatures DocuSign, respectively.

Among the tech companies, Google is at 11th spot, LinkedIn at 12th, Microsoft at 21st, Salesforce at 34th, VMware at 36th, Adobe at 39th, Cisco at 77th, Accenture at 83th and Apple at 84th (the Cupertino-based iPhone maker slipped 13 spots from the last year’s list).

Amazon once again failed to enter the list of 100.

For Facebook, 2019 has been bad on the diplomatic front. Several US Senators have called for breaking up the social network amid repeated data breaches and privacy violations on the platform.

Facebook
Facebook has failed to comply with the subpoenas for more information related to the ongoing privacy investigation into its alleged privacy violations and Cambridge Analytica, the media has reported. Pixabay

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris has stressed that authorities should take a serious look at breaking up Facebook as the social network platform is a “utility that has gone unregulated”.

Another Democratic 2020 candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has also stressed upon the possibility of breaking up Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process.

Zuckerberg has promised his employees to “fight and win” if Democratic presidential hopeful Warren wins the 2020 election and moves forward with her stated plan to break up the big US tech firms.

Also Read: Here’s What India’s Privacy Bill Requires from Social Media Firms

The company in July agreed to pay record-breaking $5 billion to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as fine for users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving millions of users.

The US FTC is also investigating Facebook for potential monopolistic practices.

The Top-100 list by Glassdoor is for large organisations or those with at least 1,000 employees. It bases its rankings on eight factors, including work/life balance, compensation and benefits and senior management, among others. (IANS)