Info-tech

Facebook preparing for US elections with tools designed for ‘at-risk’ countries: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on October 26, 2020 Published on October 26, 2020

The social media giant has announced various changes to its platform and policies in recent months leading up to the elections in November

The emergency measures range from setting lower thresholds for posts that can be categoried as potentially inflammatory to limiting the spread of viral content

Facebook is bracing itself for the United States Presidential Elections 2020, readying measures that include deploying internal tools designed for “at-risk” countries, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The emergency measures range from setting lower thresholds for posts that can be categoried as potentially inflammatory to limiting the spread of viral content, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.

These measures that have previously been used in countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar are part of a larger tool kit developed by the social media major. These tools will only be deployed in case of an emergency, such as election-related violence, and is a preparatory measure being taken by the company.

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A Facebook spokesperson told WSJ that the company had “spent years” preparing for more secure elections and had applied previous learnings to develop measures for various possibilities.

The social media giant has announced various changes to its platform and policies in recent months leading up to the elections in November. For instance, it will ban ads spreading election misinformation and those from candidates that prematurely claim victory.

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It will also temporarily halt all social issues, electoral or political ads in the United States after the polls close on November 3.

In order to prevent misinformation, Facebook will also run a notification at the top of Facebook and Instagram and apply labels to candidates’ posts directing users to its Voting Information Centre, it had said in a blog post.

In case a projected winner has been declared by a major media outlet before results are announced, it will add more specific information in the notifications stating that counting is still in progress and no winner has been determined. It will add the source of the information within the notification.

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Published on October 26, 2020
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