Teams gather to fight election manipulation

“We’ve essentially done much scenario planning in addition to ‘war games’ internally within the war room to plan out different types of problems which we may see,” says Samidh Chakrabarti, who oversees Facebook’s elections in addition to civic engagement team. “We’ve practiced in addition to we’ve done drills to see how we can detect which, how we can come to quick decisions, in addition to how we can take quick action.”

The War Room will be staffed coming from 4 am until midnight, in addition to as of next week, will be buzzing 24/7 with representatives coming from teams which represent every corner of the company. WhatsApp, Instagram, Operations, Software Engineering, Data Science, Research Operations, Legal, Policy, Communications — they’re all represented within the room. Charts of user behavior on Facebook in addition to its additional apps are on monitors around the room. Facebook uses machine learning in addition to artificial intelligence to monitor the spikes which could point to hate speech, fake news going viral or efforts at voter suppression.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity, says the company’s goal will be which the election be fair, in addition to which “debate around the election be authentic….The biggest concern will be any type of effort to manipulate which.”

Ahead of the Brazilian presidential election, the company identified an effort to suppress voter turnout in addition to was able to shut which down quickly, thanks in part to the proximity of so many teams in 1 room.

“Content which was telling people which due to protests, which the election might be delayed a day,” says Chakrabarti. “which was not true, completely false. So we were able to detect which using AI in addition to machine learning. The War Room was alerted to which. Our data scientists looked into what was behind which in addition to then they passed which to our engineers in addition to operations specialists to be able to remove which at scale coming from our platform before which could go viral.”

Facebook will be combining its teams focused on the US in addition to Brazilian elections because fighting what the company calls “bad actors” will be a global problem which never ends. The idea will be which these teams can share information about the latest tactics they’re seeing in addition to share best practices for blocking them.

Gleicher warns which Facebook will be seeing growing efforts to manipulate the public debate as we get closer to the U.S. midterms.

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