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Facebook Set up a War Room to Fight Election Interference

With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad

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Facebook
Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

In line with its efforts to prevent misuse of its platform during elections, Facebook has set up a War Room to reduce the spread of potentially harmful content.

Facebook faced flak for not doing enough to prevent spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 US presidential election. The social networking giant has rolled out several initiatives to fight fake news and bring more transparency and accountability in its advertising since then.

The launch of the first War Room at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, is part of the social network’s new initiatives to fight election interference on its platform.

Although Facebook opened the doors of the War Room ahead of the general elections in Brazil and mid-term elections in the US, it revealed the details only this week.

The goal behind setting up the War Room was to get the right subject-matter experts from across the company in one place so they can address potential problems identified by its technology in real time and respond quickly.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

“The War Room has over two dozen experts from across the company – including from our threat intelligence, data science, software engineering, research, community operations and legal teams,” Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s Director of Product Management, Civic Engagement, said in a statement on Thursday.

“These employees represent and are supported by the more than 20,000 people working on safety and security across Facebook,” Chakrabarti added.

Facebook said its dashboards offer real-time monitoring on key elections issues, such as efforts to prevent people from voting, increases in spam, potential foreign interference, or reports of content that violates our policies.

The War Room team also monitors news coverage and election-related activity across other social networks and traditional media in order to identify what type of content may go viral.

These preparations helped a lot during the first round of Brazil’s presidential elections, Facebook claimed.

The social networking giant said its technology detected a false post claiming that Brazil’s Election Day had been moved from October 7 to October 8 due to national protests.

While untrue, that message began to go viral. But the team quickly detected the problem, determined that the post violated Facebook’s policies, and removed it in under an hour.

“And within two hours, we’d removed other versions of the same fake news post,” Chakrabarti said.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

The team in the War Room, Facebook said, also helped quickly remove hate speech posts that were designed to whip up violence against people from northeast Brazil after the first round of election results were called.

“The work we are doing in the War Room builds on almost two years of hard work and significant investments, in both people and technology, to improve security on Facebook, including during elections,” Chakrabarti said.

Earlier this month Facebook said that it was planning to set up a task force comprising “hundreds of people” ahead of the 2019 general elections in India.

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“With the 2019 elections coming, we are pulling together a group of specialists to work together with political parties,” Richard Allan, Facebook’s Vice President for Global Policy Solutions, told the media in New Delhi.

Facebook has also set a goal of bringing a transparency feature for political ads — now available in the US and Brazil — to India by March next year, Allan informed.

With the new ad architecture in place, people would be able to see who paid for a particular political ad. (IANS)

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Venue: Facebook Launches New App for Interactive Live Events

The app aims to make live events more social

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Facebook Venue
Facebook has launched a new app called 'Venue' to make live events more interactive. Pixabay

Facebook is rolling out a new app for iOS and Android called ‘Venue’ which aims to provide an interactive second-screen experience for live events.

The digital companion app has been developed by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team and it is the third app the team has launched this week. The last two were focused on collaborative music video creations and voice-only group calling.

Facebook will first test Venue with NASCAR’s Food City presenting the Supermarket Heroes 500 race on May 31.

Future NASCAR races will also be hosted in Venue, with commentators including nascarcasm, FOX Sports NASCAR reporter Alan Cavanna and NASCAR driver Landon Cassill.

Venue
Venue happens to be the third app Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team has launched this week. Pixabay

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“As NASCAR makes its return to action over the coming weeks, Venue will provide users with a unique and exciting way to connect with fellow race fans from around the globe — all from the safety and comfort of their own homes,” Tim Clark, NASCAR SVP and chief digital officer, said in a statement.

The service has been widely compared to Twitter’s live event streaming capabilities, offering fans a place to interactively gather and respond to events in real time. (IANS)

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Facebook to Now Verify People Whose Posts Go Viral Rapidly

Facebook will provide ID verification to profiles with large audiences

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Facebook
Facebook will now verify user whose posts go viral rapidly. Pixabay

Facebook said on Thursday that it will now verify the identity of people who have a pattern of inauthentic behaviour on its platform and whose posts start to go viral rapidly.

In 2018, Facebook had first started to verify the identity of people managing Pages with large audiences.

“Now we’re extending ID verification to some profiles with large audiences in the US,” the social networking giant said in a statement.

If someone chooses not to verify their identity or the ID provided does not match the linked Facebook account, the distribution of their viral posts will remain reduced so that fewer people see them.

“In addition, if the person posting is a Page admin, they’ll need to complete Page Publishing Authorisation and will not be able to post from their Page until their account is verified through our existing Page Publisher Authorisation process,” said Facebook.

Facebook
The company said that IDs will be stored securely. Pixabay

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The company said that IDs will be stored securely and won’t be shared on the person’s profile.

“We want people to feel confident that they understand who’s behind the content they’re seeing on Facebook,” the company added. (IANS)

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Facebook Takes on TikTok; Launches Experimental App Collab

Facebook takes on TikTok again, this time with music making app Collab

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Facebook
FAcebook launched a music making app named "Collab". VOA

Taking on Chinese short-video making platform TikTok, Facebooks experimental app division has introduced a new iOS app called Collab for making and mixing music with friends.

Facebook’s app-focused New Product Experimentation (NPE) team announced the invite-only beta version of Collab that brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music.

“Collabs are three independent videos that are playing in sync. With the app, you can create your own arrangement by adding in your own recording or by swiping and discovering an arrangement to complete your composition. No musical experience is required,” the Facebook NPE team said in a statement on Wednesday.

In a TikTok-like feature, Once a collab is created, you can publish it for others to watch and mix and match further.

tiktok Facebook
In a TikTok-like feature, Once a collab is created, you can publish it for others to watch and mix. Pixabay

You can also share the music creation to Instagram, Facebook Stories, or any other platform.

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To request access, the iOS users can sign up for waitlist at https://npe.fb.com/collab.

“We’ll be opening up invites in batches, starting with folks in the US and Canada, as we continue to improve the experience,” said Facebook.

The social networking giant has aimed to take on TikTok in the past, with Reels editing feature on Instagram and the standalone app Lasso. (IANS)