Facebook 'war room' scrambles to combat fake election news

On Oct. 7, during the first round of Brazil's presidential election, Facebook employees noticed something suspicious on the social network.

A story posted to Facebook incorrectly claimed the election was delayed because of protests. The company's data scientists and operations team scrambled to pull down the misinformation before it went viral.

These employees were working face-to-face in Facebook's new "war room," an operation the social media giant launched in September to stamp out fake news, disinformation and fake accounts in real time.


"We know that when it comes to an election, really every moment counts," said Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook's director of elections and civic engagement work.

As the clock winds down before the run-off elections in Brazil and the midterm elections in the US, Facebook is trying to prove to both the public and lawmakers that it's more prepared to combat election interference on its network. There's a lot at stake not only for democracy, but for Facebook, which has seen Russians, Iranians and Americans, too, exploit the social network to spread hoaxes and sow discord.
"You bear this duty. you've got created those systems. And now they're being misused. And you need to be those to do something positive about it. Or we are able to," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, informed fb, Twitter and Google lawyers remaining year for the duration of a congressional listening to about Russia's interference within the 2016 US presidential election.

whilst executives on the social media massive stated it is shifting rapidly, fb additionally has to balance worries that it's censoring sure voices. The tech company, which has tried to live away from being the "arbiter of reality," has been searching on the behavior of faux debts instead of their content material to decide whether to drag them down.

And with greater than 2 billion monthly energetic customers global, facebook is counting on both guy and gadget to police the big quantities of content that flows no longer only thru its website however also via other apps it owns such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

in spite of its efforts, different faux information stories tied to Brazil's presidential election still spread on fb and WhatsApp, highlighting the problems going through the arena's biggest social community. ultimate week, Brazil's electoral court ordered facebook to tug down hyperlinks to 33 fake information stories approximately vice presidential candidate Manuela D'Ávila.

"fb has a very difficult assignment if you want to address the hassle of on the only hand retaining fake facts out of the hands of electorate who is probably misled by means of it, but alternatively protecting unfastened speech where they're no longer visible as taking sides," said Richard Hasen, a political technological know-how and regulation professor at UC Irvine.

Inside the 'war room'


From the outdoor, facebook's conflict room looks as if an ordinary conference room at the tech firm's Menlo Park, California, campus. however at the inner, the open space, flags, clocks, television displays, posters and blue-and-white labels next to pc monitors sign that it is not your common meeting room.
A red-white-and-blue signal tacked onto the door gives the room its name.

On Wednesday, fb invited newshounds for a rare glimpse into the paintings the organization's doing to thwart election meddling.

Surrounded via television displays broadcasting news and with the aid of dashboards displaying real-time information, about 20 facebook personnel take shifts in the warfare room at any given time. they are a part of different groups on the company, inclusive of facts scientists, engineers, legal professionals and safety professionals, who paintings collectively to combat election meddling. In overall, about 20,000 staffers work on safety and protection at facebook, representing its line of protection in opposition to election interference.
Facebook 'war room' scrambles to combat fake election news Facebook 'war room' scrambles to combat fake election news Reviewed by Talk For Tech on October 18, 2018 Rating: 5

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