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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's CEO also vowed to fight fake news. Pixabay
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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

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Facebook Takes Action on The Terror-Related Content

Facebook took action on 1.9mn terror-related content

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Facebook page.
Facebook. Pixabay

Facebook took action on 1.9 million pieces of content related to the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda in the first quarter of 2018, twice as much as the last quarter of 2017.

The key part is that Facebook found the vast majority of this content on its own.

“In Q1 2018, 99 per cent of the IS and Al Qaeda content we took action on was not user reported,” Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said in a blog post late on Monday.

“Taking action” means that Facebook removed the vast majority of this content and added a warning to a small portion that was shared for informational or counter speech purposes.

The Facebook's image.
Facebook. Pixabay

“This number likely understates the total volume, because when we remove a profile, Page or Group for violating our policies, all of the corresponding content becomes inaccessible.

But we don’t go back through to classify and label every individual piece of content that supported terrorism,” explained Brian Fishman, Global Head of Counterterrorism Policy at Facebook.

Facebook now has a counter-terrorism team of 200 people, up from 150 in June 2017.

Also Read: British Campaigner Sues Facebook Over Fake Ads

“We have built specialised techniques to surface and remove older content. Of the terrorism-related content we removed in Q1 2018, more than 600,000 pieces were identified through these mechanisms,” the blog post said.

“We’re under no illusion that the job is done or that the progress we have made is enough,” said Facebook.

“Terrorist groups are always trying to circumvent our systems, so we must constantly improve,” the company added.  IANS