Facebook’s Long and Halting Fight Against Misinformation

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Fb is dealing with its hardest problem but: an election difficult by a pandemic, a deeply divided nation lured by conspiracy theories and alternate variations of actuality. Is it prepared? Listed here are a number of the greatest steps and missteps it is taken within the battle towards misinformation since 2016.

November 10, 2016: Days after the election of the US President Donald Trump, Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls the concept that “pretend information” on Fb had influenced the election “a fairly loopy concept.” He later walks again the remark.

December 2016: Fb says it’s going to rent third-party fact-checkers to fight misinformation.

April 27, 2017: Fb publicly acknowledges that governments or different malicious non-state actors are utilizing its social community to affect nationwide elections, according to US authorities findings of Russian interference.

October 2017: Fb says adverts linked to a Russian web company have been seen by an estimated 10 million individuals earlier than and after the 2016 election.

November 2017: Forward of congressional hearings on election interference, Fb ups that estimate, saying Russian adverts fomenting political division probably reached as many as 126 million customers.

January 4, 2018: Zuckerberg declares his 2018 decision is to “repair” Fb.

March 2018: Proof grows that Fb campaigns have been used to steer the UK towards Brexit.

April 2018: Zuckerberg testifies earlier than Congress and apologises for the corporate’s missteps, in addition to pretend information, hate speech, a scarcity of information privateness and international interference within the 2016 elections on his platform.

Could 2018: Democrats on the Home intelligence committee launch greater than 3,500 Fb adverts created or promoted by a Russian web company earlier than and after the 2016 election.

July 2018: British lawmakers name for better oversight of Fb and different platforms.

July 2018: After Fb warns of skyrocketing bills due partially to beefing up safety and hiring extra moderators, its inventory worth suffers the worst drop in its historical past. Its shares do not get well till January 2020.

September 5, 2018: Fb and Twitter executives pledge earlier than Congress to defend towards international intrusion.

October 2018: Fb invitations the press to tour a newly created “struggle room” for combating election-related misinformation in what is essentially seen as a public relations transfer.

October-November 2018: Forward of the 2018 US midterm election, Fb removes a whole bunch of accounts, pages and teams for suspected hyperlinks to international election interference.

February 18, 2019: In a scathing report, British lawmakers name for a compulsory code of ethics and impartial overseers for social media platforms, particularly calling out Fb for technical design that appears to “conceal data of and accountability for particular choices.”

Could 2019: Fb declines to take away a video manipulated to point out Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurring her phrases. The altered clip is shared thousands and thousands of occasions.

October 2019: Fb unveils new safety methods designed to forestall international interference in elections.

November 2019: Fb opens a brand new misinformation “struggle room” forward of UK elections.

Could-June 2020: Fb declines to take away Trump posts that recommend protesters in Minneapolis may very well be shot. Zuckerberg defends his resolution in a Fb put up. Fb additionally declines to take motion on two Trump posts spreading misinformation about voting by mail. Some Fb workers resign in protest.

June 2020: Fb says it’s going to add labels to all posts about voting that direct customers to authoritative info from state and native election officers. This consists of posts by the president.

July 8, 2020: A quasi-independent civil-rights audit criticises Fb’s “vexing and heartbreaking choices” with respect to civil rights and election misinformation, together with Trump’s tweets on voting by mail.

August 2020: After years of a hands-off method, Fb restricts the conspiracy motion QAnon, however would not ban it outright.

September 3, 2020: Fb curbs political adverts, though just for seven days earlier than the US election.

October 6, 2020: Fb bans all teams that help QAnon.

October 7, 2020: Fb additional limits political adverts, readies extra labels for candidate posts that prematurely declare victory or contest official outcomes, and bans the usage of “militarised language” in reference to requires ballot watching.


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