Facebook uses AI to protect users from misinformation during elections

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019

Facebook now offers Candidate Info to users and Share You Voted status updates. — AFP Relaxnews

On April 8, the Facebook VP of India published a blog post revealing how the company has been using AI to reduce the spread of misinformation over the past year and a half as Indians prepare for the General Election for the 17th Lok Sabha.

Facebook India's Managing Director and VP Ajit Mohan explained in a blogpost on April 8 how the company has been preparing for the General Election for the 17th Lok Sabha, an election whose voting process begins this week. Actions taken to reduce the spread of misinformation and abuse by domestic and foreign actors, especially during this period of high political campaigning, began 18 months ago.

In an attempt to keep users from digesting unfairly biased and targeted information or misinformation, Facebook made four main changes: the company increased ad transparency, expanded partnerships with third-party fact-checking services, joined a code of ethics with the Election Commission of India, and began promoting civic engagement through a "Candidate Connect" feature that offers accurate information to users about candidates on the platform and a "Share You Voted" status update option.

The changes focus on "blocking and removing fake accounts; fighting the spread of information; stopping abuse by domestic actors; spotting attempts at foreign meddling; and taking action against inauthentic coordinated campaigns." In addition to providing information about candidates and where ads come from, Facebook also uses AI to remove about one million inauthentic or abusive accounts every day. Just last week, the platform removed almost 700 pages, groups, and accounts for "violating Facebook's policies on coordinated inauthentic behaviour and spam".

Facebook has been implementing these tools and features for a year and a half now in view of the Indian election, specifically the General Election for the 17th Lok Sabha, which begins on April 11. – AFP Relaxnews

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