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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 testing 'LOL' app to woo kids, experts wary. 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)

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Facebook Again in Controversy For Search Function Suggesting Friends’ Bikini-clad Photos

Twitter users also noted how Facebook’s search bar automatically suggested photographs of female friends in bikini

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Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Facebook has again courted controversy with a search function that allows users to scout for photographs of female, but not male friends, the media reported.

The feature was spotted by Belgian security researcher Inti De Ceukelaire, whose findings led to revelations that Facebook prompts users to search for photographs of female friends in bikini, The Independent said on Friday.

The tech giant originally called it a ‘bug’, only to issue a clarification later to explain that it is not a glitch but simply how the search feature works. A Facebook spokesperson said it is working to fix the issue.

“Facebook has modified its creepy hidden search feature this weekend,” Ceukelaire tweeted earlier this week.

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

“You can no longer retrieve hidden photographs of your male friends. Women can/may still be stalked. Even more, when you request photographs from your male friends, Facebook assumes you wanted to see pictures of women,” Ceukelaire added.

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His tweets prompted responses that Facebook is “sexist” due to the way its internal search feature functions.

Twitter users also noted how Facebook’s search bar automatically suggested photographs of female friends in bikini. (IANS)