BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 17: Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg speaks at a … [+]
After the US presidential election in just two weeks, Facebook rejected 2.2 million ads that violated voter interference guidelines. The social network has also removed 120,000 posts on Facebook and Instagram, according to Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs and communications at Facebook.
Facebook has also warned 150 million misleading or inaccurate posts related to the election. The company wants to avoid a repeat of the 2016 elections when Russia tampered with its network to compromise the voting process and electoral integrity. In the run-up to the 2016 election, fake Facebook accounts likely to be linked to Russia bought over $ 100,000 worth of political ads.
“We have partnered with 70 specialized media outlets, including five in France, to verify information,” said Clegg. AFP is one of these partners.
These shutdowns are far from where the company was four years ago when Clegg complained to the Journal du Dimanche that Facebook has not yet identified or suppressed any foreign networks that were disrupting the US elections.
Artificial intelligence, which deletes billions of posts and fake accounts before users report them, has been helpful in understanding the network connections between accounts that would pay for ads promoting voter interference, Clegg said.
Last week, Facebook announced a ban on vaccination ads and a ban on Holocaust denial content.
Also last week, the House Intelligence Committee held a hearing on the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories on social media platforms. Many of the experts pointed out that bad foreign and domestic actors spreading misinformation in order to create chaos, prevent bourgeois discourse, and meddle in the US elections have been building a system of reinforcing divisive content for a decade.
These steps from Facebook are important, but by no means timely. Facebook’s strategy in 2020 might have prepared the company for a digital and political landscape in 2016, but is it enough for 2020?