Facebook released a detailed four-part plan to avoid election interference during the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. The company is still feeling the effects of helping sway the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook's plan is extensive and is designed to hit all of the ways that were used to manipulate the platform in the past.
Facebook posted the four-part plan in a blog post that was a transcript of a conversation that was had between Facebook leadership and members of the press. Facebook's four-part plan includes combating foreign interference, removing fake accounts, increasing ads transparency, and reducing the spread of false news.
To combat foreign interference, Facebook made it known that the FBI created a task force that monitors social media so threats could be seen in real time. Chief security officer Alex Stamos said that it is important for Facebook to have the most up to date intelligence to understand the problem.
Product manager Samidh Chakrabarti spoke about what Facebook is doing to fight fake accounts. Chakrabarti said that this is one of the most frequent ways that bad actors use to disseminate information on Facebook.
Facebook is blocking millions of fake accounts each day. This is due to advances in machine learning that have allowed the company to be alerted to suspicious behaviors. He told the story of a group of Macedonian spammers who tried to sway the Alabama special Senate election but were removed due to the new tools.
Product management director Brad Leathern talked about the steps Facebook is taking for more transparency in ads. They added a new feature called View Ads that allows users to see the ads bought by Facebook Pages. It will be available worldwide during the summer, it is currently available in Canada.
It detailed the new disclosures that ad buyers will have to go through to get their ad on Facebook. During the midterm elections, they will have to confirm who they are and where in the U.S. they're located. They will also have to disclose what candidate, organization, and business they represent.
The last and most important part of the plan is to stop the spread of fake news. Facebook currently works with third-party fact checkers, when a story gets flagged as false it would be shared 80 percent less.
Facebook also shared plans to go after Pages and domains that are responsible for spreading fake news. Their aim is to reduce the distribution and remove their ability to monetize and advertise.