Nick Clegg, Facebook vice president in charge of public affairs and communications has praised the company’s preparedness for the U.S election. As reported by Le JDD, Clegg cites the ‘trama’ off the 2016 election as a reason why the company was so motivated to not go through the same thing again.
This all comes as Facebook has taken a number of significant actions against advertisers and users in recent months. Reports firstly suggested that advertising has been limited by the company. Facebook also began removing more users’ posts that had connections to Covid-19 and the election.
On top of this, the company stumped up its efforts to encourage users to vote. Facebook created a voting hub which provided information for users. This included accurate information about how to register as well as facts about mail-in voting systems.
Nick Clegg, as reported by The Guardian, has claimed that Facebook removed 2.2 million advertisements seeking to obstruct the election. He cites this as evidence proving Facebook has prepared much better for global events such as this.
Clegg claims Facebook ‘better prepared’ for U.S. election
Clegg also points out that Facebook has added warnings on over 150 million posts by users concerning misinformation. He points out that Facebook has 35,000 employees taking care of security as of now.
Clegg also points to “established partnerships with 70 specialised media, including five in France, on the verification of information”. One of which is AFP.
Facebook has been using Artificial Intelligence to aid its efforts in this area. Clegg says this has “made it possible to delete billions of posts and fake accounts, even before they are reported by users”.
The company has also begun storing all advertisements and information on their funding and provenance for seven years. Clegg says this is “to ensure transparency”, which is something Facebook has come into criticism for in the past.
This all comes amongst backlash from the Republican party after Facebook blocked blocking links to a New York Post. This article supposedly exposed corrupt dealings by election rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine.
However, there were significant questions over the accuracy of this report hence the reason for blocking the link. It does though bring up questions about censorship and free speech which Facebook had wished to champion in the past
Now it looks like the company will air on the side of caution following an advertising walkout back in the summer. This pressure likely requires the company to take more action on any potential spread of misinformation.