Tue, Oct 29, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Facebook announces steps to clamp down on misinformation ahead of 2020 election
防假新聞操縱二○二○年大選 臉書宣布反制措施

The loading screen of the Facebook mobile phone app is pictured in Lavigny, Switzerland on May 16, 2012.

Photo: Reuters

Facebook has announced steps to combat misinformation and voter suppression ahead of the November 2020 US presidential election, on the same day it disclosed the removal of a network of Russian accounts targeting US voters on Instagram.

Facebook said on Oct. 21 it would increase transparency through measures such as showing more information about the confirmed owner of a Facebook page and more prominently labeling content that independent fact-checkers have marked as false.

The social media giant has come under fire in recent weeks over its policy of exempting ads run by politicians from fact-checking, drawing ire from Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

Two weeks ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the policy, saying social media had introduced transformative avenues for speech that should not be shut down.

That same day, the Biden campaign called for the removal of an ad run by a super PAC campaign group that it said contained false claims about the former vice president.

Katie Harbath, Facebook’s head of global elections policy, said in response that if the now inactive ad ran again, it would be sent to Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers.

On Oct. 21, Facebook said would be putting into effect its planned ban on paid ads that tell people in the US not to vote. Zuckerberg told reporters on a conference call that the ban on voter misinformation would also apply to ads run by politicians.

The company will start labeling state-controlled media on its page and in the site’s ad library. In a blog post, Facebook said it planned to expand this labeling to specific posts on both Facebook and Instagram early next year.


1. misinformation n.

假新聞 (jia3 xin1 wen2)

2. fact-checker phr.

事實查核人員 (shi4 shi2 cha2 he2 ren2 yuan2)

3. social media phr.

社群媒體 (she4 qun2 mei2 ti3)

4. state-controlled media phr.

國家控制的媒體 (guo2 jia1 kong4 zhi4 de5 mei2 ti3)

5. interference n.

干涉;擾亂 (gan1 she4; rao3 luan4)

6. propaganda n.

宣傳 (xuan1 chuan2)

7. authentication n.

身份驗證 (shen1 fen4 yan4 zheng4)

8. hacking n.

駭客入侵 (hai4 ke4 ru4 qin1)

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the video-streaming service of Alphabet’s Google, all recently came under scrutiny after showing ads from Chinese state-controlled media that criticized Hong Kong protesters.

This month, the Senate committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election said that the Kremlin’s best-known propaganda arm increased its social media activity after that vote. “The bottom line here is that elections have changed significantly since 2016 and Facebook has changed too,” Zuckerberg said on Oct. 21.

“We face increasingly sophisticated attacks from nation states like Russia, Iran and China, but I’m confident we’re more prepared.”

Theories that China has interfered in US elections are absurd and laughable, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Oct. 22. If someone says China interfered in the US election, they should provide proof, said Hua. China has never had any interest in interfering with other countries’ internal affairs, she said.

Moscow and Tehran have also repeatedly denied the allegations.

Facebook will introduce a new US presidential candidate spend tracker to show how much they have spent on political ads as part of the company’s efforts to make its ad library easier to use, Zuckerberg said.

The company plans to heighten protection of the Facebook and Instagram accounts of candidates, elected officials and their teams through a program called Facebook Protect. Participants in the program will be required to turn on two-factor authentication and their accounts will be monitored for signs of hacking.



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