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

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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.

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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)