Zuckerberg says Facebook is ‘better prepared’ for next election, promise

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It’s barely two months left before midterm elections begin on Nov. 6. While former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos warned it’s “too late” to protect this year’s elections, Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook is “better prepared” to protect this year’s elections from interference.

The CEO detailed the steps Facebook has taken to prevent election interference in a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday.

In it, he said the fake accounts will be identified and removed from the platform while the spread of “viral misinformation” will either be contained or taken down. 

Facebook will also make information about ads and their advertisers more transparent to users to improve accountability, while anyone running “political or issue ads” in the US will now be required to verify their identity and location.

Zuckerberg also mentioned the independent election research commission Facebook established earlier this year and addressed how the company has significantly strengthened its coordination with US governments and organisations.

“In 2016, we were not prepared for the coordinated information operations we now regularly face,” wrote Zuckerberg.

“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,” he added.

Foreign interference at elections around the world came into the spotlight after allegations that Russian hackers had a role to play in Donald Trump’s presidential win two years ago. In July, Facebook — which was proven a popular tool among the hackers to shape political views — said it found a new campaign of “inauthentic behaviour” on its platform and consequently removed 32 accounts and pages, although COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company is still in “very early stages of the investigation.” She also made an appearance with Twitter at a Senate hearing just last week as Congress trained its eye on the internet’s failings.

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