Facebook today admitted that potentially millions of accounts on its platform are fake accounts run by bots. Facebook is on a mission to do what it sees as stopping bots from influencing the outcome of the EU elections through the propagation and fake news. The social networking site assures the public that it has beefed up efforts to eliminate this threat to not only to the company but to the electorate as well.
In Dublin this week, Facebook invited journalists to present the resources that the company is using to protect the European elections from the influence of “fake news”. It assigned around 40 people to monitor online conversations to discover fake news. These people are supported by a global network of experts in threat intelligence, data scientists, researchers and engineers all working round-the-clock to spot and prevent fake news from getting viral. Additionally, there are also native speakers in all 24 official EU languages helping out the team.
Richard Allan, Facebook vice-president for public policy said that the threat to Facebook has been staggering. The company says it has taken down 2.7 billion fake accounts propagating fake news between October 2017 and November 2018.
Facebook also say that real accounts are propagating fake news. To address this, Facebook is now vetting accounts who plans to post political advertisements and campaigns. As of now, Facebook says its biggest challenge is to separate bad actors from the good actors who are thriving in the social networking platform.
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However, it doesn’t say how it’s differentiating between real and fake accounts, with many valid accounts from real people have been suspended in recent months – the dismay of many.
Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher admitted that the company has not found a credible partner who can identify and check bad actors who share fake news on the platform. He said that no single organization can handle the issue of fake news on its own.
In general, Facebook vows to protect not just the European elections but all other elections globally ensuring that voters will not be manipulated by fake news or black propaganda.