Facebook’s long and halting fight against misinformation

In this news, we discuss the Facebook’s long and halting fight against misinformation.

Facebook faces its toughest challenge yet: an election complicated by a pandemic, a deeply divided nation drawn to conspiracy theories and versions alternatives reality. Is it ready? Here are some of his biggest milestones and missteps in the fight against disinformation since 2016.

November 10, 2016: a few days after the election of President Donald Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls the idea that “fake news” Facebook had influenced the election “a pretty crazy idea”. He returns to the comment later. December 2016: Facebook says it will hire third-party fact checkers to tackle misinformation.

April 27, 2017: Facebook publicly acknowledges that governments or other malicious non-state actors are using its social network to influence national elections, in line with the US government’s findings on Russian interference. October 2017: Facebook said advertisements linked to a Russian internet agency were seen by around 10 million people before and after the 2016 election.

November 2017: before the Congressional hearings on electoral interference, Facebook raises that estimate, claiming that Russian political divide ads have potentially reached up to 126 million users. January 4, 2018: Zuckerberg Says His 2018 Resolution Is To “Fix” Facebook.

March 2018: Evidence grows that Facebook campaigns have been used to steer the UK towards Brexit. April 2018: Zuckerberg testifies before Congress and apologizes for the company’s missteps, as well as fake news, hate speech, lack of data privacy and foreign interference in the 2016 election on its platform.

May 2018: Democrats on House Intelligence Committee release more than 3,500 Facebook ads created or promoted by a Russian internet agency before and after the 2016 election. July 2018: UK lawmakers call for greater scrutiny Facebook and other platforms.

July 2018: After Facebook Warns of skyrocketing spending due in part to tighter security and hiring more moderators, its stock price is suffering the worst drop in history. His shares do not recover until January 2020. September 5, 2018: Facebook and Twitter leaders pledge before Congress to defend themselves against foreign intrusion.

October 2018: Facebook invites the press to visit a newly created “war room” to tackle election-related disinformation in what is widely seen as a public relations movement. October-November 2018: before the 2018 US midterm elections, Facebook removes hundreds of accounts, pages and groups for suspected links to foreign election interference.

February 18, 2019: In a scathing report, UK lawmakers call for a mandatory code of ethics and independent monitors for social media platforms, specifically calling Facebook for a technical conception which seems to “conceal knowledge and responsibility for specific decisions”. May 2019: Facebook refuses to delete a video manipulated to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi muddling her words. The edited clip is shared millions of times. October 2019: Facebook unveils new security systems designed to prevent foreign interference in elections.

November 2019: Facebook opens a new ‘war room’ of disinformation ahead of UK elections. May-June 2020: Facebook refuses to suppress messages from Trump suggesting protesters in Minneapolis could be shot. Zuckerberg defends his decision in a Facebook Publish. Facebook Also refuses to take action on two Trump posts spreading false information about mail voting. Some Facebook employees quit in protest.

June 2020: Facebook says it will add labels to all voting messages that direct users to authoritative information from local and local election officials. This includes messages from the president. July 8, 2020: A quasi-independent civil rights audit criticizes Facebook Trump’s “vexing and heartbreaking decisions” regarding civil rights and election disinformation, including Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting.

August 2020: after years of practical approach, Facebook restricts the QAnon conspiracy movement, but does not outright ban it. September 3, 2020: Facebook curbs political advertising, but only for seven days before the US election.

October 6, 2020: Facebook disallows all groups that support QAnon. October 7, 2020: Facebook further limit political advertisements, prepare more labels for positions of candidates who prematurely declare victory or contest official results, and prohibit the use of “militarized language” in calls for poll observation .

News Highlights:

  • October-November 2018: before the 2018 US midterm elections, Facebook removes hundreds of accounts, pages and groups for suspected links to foreign election interference. February 18, 2019: In a scathing report, UK lawmakers call for a mandatory code of ethics and independent monitors for social media platforms, specifically calling Facebook for a technical conception that seems to “conceal knowledge and responsibility for specific decisions”. May 2019: Facebook refuses to delete a video manipulated to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi muddling her words.
  • Facebook long and endless fight against disinformation
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