Facebook cracking down on misinformation and fake news ahead of Newfoundland election

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Facebook says it has dedicated a team to monitor fake news ahead of the Newfoundland and Labrador election, as reported by CBC News.

The platform has gained interest in Canadian politics after the 2016 U.S. election, during which false information was frequently circulated.

Following a federal cybersecurity report in 2017, Facebook said it expanded its efforts to tackle bots and misinformation regarding Canadian campaigns.

Kevin Chan, the head of public policy for Facebook in Canada, told reporters that Facebook promotes political engagement on all of its platforms. These platforms include Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Facebook is dedicated to “making Facebook a force for good in democracy,” according to Chan. It is implementing efforts to prevent the spread of misinformation.

The company is creating a searchable political advertisement library that will display viewership analytics. It will show the demographics of people who viewed the ad and how much time they spent viewing it.

Chan said Facebook will also limit the reach of clearly false news articles by decreasing the number of feeds it will appear in. The platform will also remove inauthentic accounts, while being careful not to delete actual users.

CBC News reported on a former Tory staffer behind several political groups that were spreading meme-based political propaganda. Although Facebook is aware of these accounts, it does not plan to reveal who is behind them, according to Chan.

Facebook has stated that it chooses to refrain from censoring posts as much as possible, and does not want to go into unlawful territory, according to Chan.

As a result of this position, many malicious and false articles will still be visible on Facebook.

Source: CBC News