Facebook enhancing security measures ahead of elections in Pakistan, other countries

Web Desk
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Reuters

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the usage of advanced artificial intelligence and employment of a large number of people to strengthen its security features, in an attempt to keep the platform’s focus centralised on the confidentiality of upcoming elections in countries, including Pakistan.

Terming 2018 a "big year" for elections, Zuckerberg said Facebook was enhancing its security features to prevent trolls from spreading information.

"Yes -- 2018 has important elections across the US, Mexico, India, Brazil, Pakistan, Hungary and many other countries. We're working on rolling our AI tools out everywhere and in all these languages," Zuckerberg said while responding to a post on Facebook.

His comment came on a post in which he announced, “Today we're taking an important step to protect the integrity of elections around the world by taking down more than 270 pages and accounts operated by a Russian organisation called the Internet Research Agency (IRA).”

Most of our actions against the IRA to date have been to prevent them from interfering in foreign elections. This update is about taking down their pages targeting people living in Russia. This Russian agency has repeatedly acted deceptively and tried to manipulate people in the US, Europe, and Russia -- and we don't want them on Facebook anywhere in the world, the Facebook CEO said.

Facebook has come under fire in recent weeks after it was revealed that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, gained access to the personal data of 87 million Facebook users.

However, Zuckerberg said, “We have improved our techniques to prevent nation states from interfering in foreign elections, and we've built more advanced AI tools to remove fake accounts more generally. There have been a number of important elections since then where these new tools have been successfully deployed. For example: In France, leading up to the presidential election in 2017, we found and took down 30,000 fake accounts.”

“In Germany, before the 2017 elections, we worked directly with the Federal Office for Information Security to learn from them about the threats they saw and to share information,” he continued.

The Facebook CEO added, "We have also significantly increased our investment in security. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We'll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year."