September 26, 2022

Meta Steps Up Information Control In front of US Elections

Facebook’s parent company can be imposing strict controls on information related to the forthcoming midterm elections

Social networking behemoth Meta is beefing up its information-control techniques as the US heads in to the 2022 midterm elections, tightening up rules on voting misinformation and advertising. The adjustments were announced in a blog  post   on Tuesday.

The company will prohibit new political, social and electoral issue ads over the last week before the election, ensuring no “ October surprises ” – factual or otherwise  – will disturb the information ecosystem. Editing existing ads may also be forbidden, and ads motivating people not to vote or even questioning the legitimacy from the results will not be permitted.

To further ensure the sanctity of the vote, Meta says it is investing in “ proactive threat recognition ” with the purpose of countering “ matched harassment and threats associated with violence against election authorities and poll workers . ” The company is also holding regular meetings with the Nationwide Association of Secretaries of State and the National Organization of State Elections Company directors, state and local elections officials, and the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Company.

Meta can be deploying fact checkers in multiple languages for the midterms and expanding the services to WhatsApp, boasting five new partners in The spanish language, including Univision and Telemundo. This is part of a $5 million boost in “ fact-checking and press literacy initiatives ” ahead of November’s vote.

The platform promised in order to deploy fewer “ labels that connect individuals with reliable information ” during the 2022 season, acknowledging user feedback had tipped them off that this kind of labels were “ over-used ” in 2020.

Boasting it had banned greater than 270 “ white supremacist organizations ” and deleted over 2 . 5 million content products tied to “ structured hate ” in the first quarter of 2022 alone, the platform revealed 97% of the content in question had been removed by its methods without anyone reporting it – raising the question of how hateful it was given the absence of an offended party.

Some issue whether Facebook is outfitted to deal with actual misinformation during elections, however. Climate proper rights NGO Global Witness states it submitted 10 false ads less than two months before Brazil’s presidential election informing users to vote within the wrong day, using methods that are not in use, plus questioning the validity from the results before the votes are usually in  – only for Meta to accept every single one. The group has conducted similar tests ahead of elections in Kenya, and reported the site’s filters “ seriously inadequate ” there too.

Meta is not the only social media firm to come back to 2020’s “ election integrity ” policies. Twitter announced a week ago that it would reactivate its democracy-defending rules, pledging to label and prevent the expressing of “ misinformation , ” promote “ reputable ” news outlets, and “ pre-bunk ” narratives that might call the integrity of election outcomes into question, regardless of their veracity. The platform shifted focus from election-related “ disinformation ” in order to Covid-19-related content after the selection but has continued to experiment with redirecting users toward  “ approved”   sources of information.

The newest attacks against Info Battles are only exposing their intention to stop all of alternative media .

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