WASHINGTON - Facebook has enhanced its security measures to protect the integrity of the July 25 general elections in Pakistan and prevent the spread of fake news, a spokesperson for the social media giant, which has been plagued by a massive data leak scandal, said.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had to face grilling in the US and in the European parliament over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which Facebook was accused of unduly influencing the 2016 US electoral process.
Sarim Aziz, Facebook’s spokesperson in Pakistan, said that for the coming elections in Pakistan the company had increased its safety and security staff to monitor all activities connected with the elections and to protect the integrity of the elections. ADVERTISEMENT
“We have increased the number of safety and security people on our staff working on this area, with dedicated teams focused on preventing abuse on the platform during elections and started training of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s officials with the goal of increasing transparency and helping authorities promote civic engagement,” Aziz said.
He said enhanced security measures had been taken to protect pages of political parties and candidates, improving the enforcement of its ads policies and greater ads and page transparency, better use of machine learning to combat fake accounts, and working to reduce the spread of false news.
Facebook is widely used in Pakistan and the political parties, politicians and their supporters commonly use the social networking platform to express their point of view. Aziz said Facebook’s safety and security staff had been working with the Election Commission of Pakistan to better understand and address the specific challenges faced in the country and help ensure that candidates are safe on the platform. ADVERTISEMENT
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg had promised in last April to ensure security and transparency on its forum ahead of elections in different countries, including Pakistan.