Zuckerberg: Protecting Democracy Is An Arms Race

Since the aftermath of the 2016 election, Facebook has invested millions of dollars in an effort to shore up the platform against future attacks. Late Wednesday night, Mark Zuckerberg published a 3,300-word progress report on how the company has been doing.

The report contained little in the way of news. The steps that Zuckerberg outlined have been announced publicly every step of the way. They include:

  • Removing fake accounts.
  • Removing posts that use hoaxes to incite violence.
  • Preventing publishers of hoaxes from selling ads against their content.
  • Forming partnerships with nonpartisan fact checkers to rate disputed posts.
  • Requiring advertisers to verify their identities and allowing the public to see relevant information about all ad campaigns on Facebook.
  • Setting up an independent election research commission to let outside academics examine the influence of social networks on democracy.
  • Coordinating with other social platforms and the government to identify and remove influence campaigns.

Zuckerberg concludes:

In 2016, we were not prepared for the coordinated information operations we now regularly face. But we have learned a lot since then and have developed sophisticated systems that combine technology and people to prevent election interference on our services.

This effort is part of a broader challenge to rework much of how Facebook operates to be more proactive about protecting our community from harm and taking a broader view of our responsibility overall.

Given that we don’t fully understand the nature of the threats on the platform — many are uncovered only after the fact — it’s impossible to say with any certainty how effective these measures have been. Still, Zuckerberg’s post highlights a series of earnest, good-faith efforts at Facebook to prevent the problems that marred the 2016 election from happening again. This list compares favorably to efforts at YouTube and Twitter, which generally have been slower to act and less forthcoming about what they’re doing.

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Source : https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/14/17857712/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-election-security-arms-race-cold-war

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