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Facebook To Scrutinize Political Ads More

In order to prevent election interference on its platform, Facebook has introduced new changes to increase transparency and accountability for electoral ads and Pages

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Facebook
Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported. Pixabay

In order to prevent election interference on its platform, Facebook has introduced new changes to increase transparency and accountability for electoral ads and Pages.

To get authorised by Facebook, advertisers will now need to confirm their identity and location. “Advertisers will be prohibited from running political ads — electoral or issue-based — until they are authorised,” Rob Goldman, Vice President, Ads at Facebook, said in a blog post late Friday.

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Facebook was accused of leaking data to Cambridge Analytica.

Last year, the social media platform announced that only authorised advertisers will be able to run electoral ads on Facebook or Instagram.

“In addition, these ads will be clearly labeled in the top left corner as aPolitical Ad’. Next to it, we will show ‘paid for by’ information,” added Alex Himel, Vice President, Local and Pages.

“We started testing the authorisation process this week, and people will begin seeing the label and additional information in the US later this spring,” the blog post added.

Facebook is also investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and adding more people to help find advertisers that should have gone through the authorisation process but did not.

The company has also asked users to report if they see an unlabeled political ad. People can do this by tapping the three dots at the top right corner of the ad and selecting “Report Ad.”

Also Read: Over 5 lakh Indian users’ data shared with Cambridge Analytica: Facebook

In Canada, Facebook is testing a new feature called “view ads” that lets you see the ads a Page is running even if they are not in your News Feed.

“This applies to all advertiser Pages on Facebook — not just Pages running political ads. We plan to launch view ads globally in June,” the post added.

In June, Facebook also plans to release a public, searchable political ads archive. This will contain all ads with the “Political Ad” label, and will show the image and text, as well as additional information like the amount spent and demographic audience information for each ad.

“We’re also announcing that people who manage Pages with large numbers of followers will need to be verified,” said Goldman. Those who manage large Pages that do not clear the process will no longer be able to post. The new updates, Facebook said, are designed to prevent future abuse in elections.

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The social media app is in news for all the wrong reasons lately. VOA

Earlier this week, Facebook showed country-specific break-up of people affected by the data breach, saying information of up to 87 million people, mostly in the US, may have been “improperly” shared with British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica via a quiz app, “thisisyourdigitallife”, between November 2013 and December 2015.

The British political research organisation, which collaborated with Donald Trump’s campaign in the run-up to the 2016 US Presidential election, used the leaked information to develop a computer programme to predict the decisions of US voters and allegedly influence them. IANS

Next Story

4,000 Viewed NZ Mosques Shootings Live, Claims Facebook

Facebook said it removed the original video and hashed it to detect other shares visually similar to that video and automatically remove them from Facebook and Instagram

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. Facebook said it is aware of outages on its platforms including Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. VOA

Facing the flak over its inability to spot and remove the livestreaming of New Zealand mosque’s shooting, Facebook on Tuesday said 4,000 people viewed it before being taken down.

“The video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast. No users reported the video during the live broadcast,” Chris Sonderby, VP and Deputy General Counsel, said in a blog-post. “Including the views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4,000 times in total before being removed from Facebook,” Sonderby added.

Strapped with a GoPro camera to his head, the gunman broadcasted graphic footage of shooting via Facebook Live for nearly 17 minutes. It was later shared in millions on other social media platforms.

Fifty people were killed in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Avenue Masjid in Christchurch on March 15 after 28-year-old Australian national Brenton Tarrant opened indiscriminate firings.

According to Facebook, the first user report on the original video came in 29 minutes after the video started, and 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended. “Before we were alerted to the video, a user on ‘8chan’ posted a link to a copy of the video on a file-sharing site,” said Sonderby.

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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 removed the personal accounts of the named suspect from Facebook and Instagram, and are identifying and removing any imposter accounts that surface,” he said.

Facebook said it removed the original video and hashed it to detect other shares visually similar to that video and automatically remove them from Facebook and Instagram.

Also Read- Netflix Not to Integrate its Services with Apple Streaming Platform

“Some variants such as screen recordings were more difficult to detect, so we expanded to additional detection systems, including the use of audio technology,” Sonderby said.

“In the first 24 hours, we removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack. More than 1.2 million of those videos were blocked at upload, and were therefore prevented from being seen on our services,” he said. (IANS)