Facebook to set up two regional centers for monitoring election content

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Facebook Inc (FB.O) is planning to set up two new regional operations centres to focus on monitoring election-related content.

The centres will be located in its Dublin and Singapore offices, the company said on Monday.

The world’s largest social network has been under pressure from regulators around the globe to fight the spread of misinformation on its platform.

Meanwhile, the giant social media network also said it will beef up its rules and safeguards around political adverts to prevent foreign interference in elections, including those in Europe this year.

Facebook has faced pressure from regulators and the public after 2018’s revelation that British consultancy Cambridge Analytica had improperly acquired data on millions of U.S. users to target election advertising.

“We will require those wanting to run political and issue ads to be authorised, and we will display a `paid for by’ disclaimer on those ads,” Facebook’s recently-appointed Head of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, told a news conference.

Clegg, a former British Deputy Prime Minister, hired by Facebook in October, said the new tools to be launched in late March aim to help protect the integrity of EU elections due to be held this spring.

Facebook said that the transparency tools for electoral ads would be expanded globally before the end of June, while the tools would be in launched in India in February before its elections and in Ukraine and Israel before polls in both.

“The tools are similar to those adopted for the U.S. mid-term elections,’’ Clegg said, adding that all political ads will be stored in a publicly searchable library for up to seven years.

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This will contain information such as the amount of money spent and the number of impressions displayed, who paid for them and the demographics of those who saw them, including age, gender and location.

The new tools, which will be launched in March, will also cover `issue ads’ which do not explicitly back one candidate or political party but which focus on highly politicised topics like immigration.

Facebook reiterated its willingness to set up two new regional operations centres focused on monitoring election-related content in its Dublin and Singapore offices.

Clegg, however, denied that Facebook sells users’ data.

“Selling people’s information to advertisers would not only be the wrong thing to do, but it would also undermine the way we do business.

“Because it would reduce the unique value of our service to advertisers,” he noted.

SOURCE: Reuters

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