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Facebook To Monitor India’s Election, Launches Transparency Tools

Facebook last month said that it will start to show a disclaimer on all political ads in India that provides more information about who's placing the ad

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Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, digital
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

As India faces elections in a couple of months, Facebook said it will launch transparency tools for electoral ads next month in the country to help prevent foreign interference and make political and issue advertising on its platform more transparent.

According to a report in Quartz on Tuesday, the social media giant will work to monitor threats to the upcoming India elections from an operations centre in Singapore.

“The Singapore office will be a hub for the team managing threats to the Indian election,” a senior employee of Facebook India was quoted as saying.

Facebook, social media
Facebook also kills over 300 Russia-linked fake accounts, Pages, (VOA)

Earlier, in a blog post last Monday, Facebook said that advertisers will need to be authorised to purchase political ads and the social networking giant will give people more information about ads related to politics and issues.

“We will create a publicly searchable library of these ads for up to seven years. The library will include information on the range of the ads’ budget, number of people they reached and demographics of who saw the ad, including age, gender and location,” Samidh Chakrabarti, Director of Product Management, Civic Engagement at Facebook, said in the blog post.

Facebook said it is planning to set up two new regional operations centres, focused on election integrity, located in its Dublin and Singapore offices.

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Facebook staring at bigger problems this year, warns analyst. VOA

“This will allow our global teams to better work across regions in the run-up to elections.

“These teams will add a layer of defence against fake news, hate speech and voter suppression, and will work cross-functionally with our threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, community operations, legal and other teams,” explained Katie Harbath, Global Politics and Government Outreach Director at Facebook.

The company said it will continue to expand its third-party fact-checking programme which covers content in 16 languages.

“We have rolled out the ability for fact-checkers to review photos and videos in addition to article links, because we know multimedia-based misinformation is making up a greater share of false news,” said Facebook.

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

The company said it will organise a series of workshops over the next six months in Singapore, Delhi, Nairobi, Berlin, New York, Mexico City and others, inviting experts and organisations who work issues such as free expression, technology and democracy, procedural fairness and human rights.

Also Read: Facebook Tightens Rules For Paid Ads, Creates Oversight Board

Facebook last month said that it will start to show a disclaimer on all political ads in India that provides more information about who’s placing the ad, and an online searchable Ad Library for anyone to access.

“Now anyone who wants to run an ad in India related to politics will need to first confirm their identity and location, and give more details about who placed the ad,” said Sarah Clark Schiff, Product Manager at Facebook. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Rolls Out an Update to Rank Comments on Public Posts to Make Conversations Meaningful

The users can moderate the comments on their post by hiding, deleting or engaging with comments

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Facebook will now start showing comments on public posts more prominently when the comments have interactions from the page or the person who originally posted or from friends of the person who posted. Pixabay

In a move to make conversations on public posts more meaningful, Facebook has rolled out an update where it will rank comments to promote those that are most relevant to users.

Facebook will now start showing comments on public posts more prominently when the comments have interactions from the page or the person who originally posted or from friends of the person who posted.

“We will continue to take other signals into account so we do not prominently show low-quality comments, even if they are from the person who made the original post or their friends,” Justine Shen, Product Manager at Facebook, said in a statement on Friday.

facebook
FILE – The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

The users can moderate the comments on their post by hiding, deleting or engaging with comments. Ranking is on by default for Pages and people with a lot of followers, but Pages and people with a lot of followers can choose to turn off comment ranking.

ALSO READ: Facebook Now Expands Ad Breaks to Marathi, Punjabi, Kannada and Telugu

People who don’t have as many followers will not have comment ranking turned on automatically since there are less comments overall, but any person can decide to enable comment ranking by going to their settings.

“We want people to see safe and authentic comments. If a comment violates our community standards, we remove it. “We also take into account other signals, like engagement-bait, to address the integrity of information and improve the quality of comments people see,” said Facebook. (IANS)