Press Release: November 08, 2019
Facebook has been subject to a huge amount of scrutiny post its ineffectiveness to take preemptive steps in the 2016 elections, in order to avoid maligning posts, advertisements and other content from reaching the general public. The social media platform failed to remove misinformation from its pages and there were several countries like Russia, for example, who are believed to have influenced the decision of the voters. The CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was questioned on this and has been subject to criticism from diverse political parties and ideologies.
With the elections in the USA scheduled to be held next year, Facebook is taking steps to avoid any sort of misinformation being spread using its platforms.. For this, they have introduced Facebook Protect, a feature which is made available for all the presidential candidates and their aids. Users need to enroll into the program in order to safeguard their respective accounts. This is a feature which is meant to prevent any maligning posts, videos, ads, etc, from being posted in the aforementioned profiles by third parties.
Another aspect was the absence of any fact-checking in the campaign ads during the previous elections in 2016. It has been claimed that several voters were influenced in their decisions as a result of these. To prevent it this time around, all the elections related ads are being checked by independent fact-checking agencies so that the false ones can be labeled. This way, voters will not be misled by any incorrect claims. Furthermore, they are believed to be taking steps to stop the interference of other countries in any aspects of the upcoming elections.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, “Things are different this time around and we have made a lot of changes to avoid misinformation related to the upcoming elections. We are comparatively more prepared than last time and have employed effective strategies to prevent other countries from affecting the results. Features like a new spending tracker for presidential candidates is one of the new features which we have implemented on Facebook & Instagram. With regards to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s criticism, we are in touch with her team.”
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