Facebook Removes Dozens of Iranian Disinformation Accounts

The moves add to a series of measures from Facebook since 2016 when foreign entities were prominently involved in social media in the US campaign

'Facebook has changed': Zuckerberg unleashes plan to battle election interference

In a related development, Facebook said it removed four separate networks of accounts from Russian Federation and Iran for "coordinated inauthentic behavior" on Facebook and Instagram.

With just over a year left until the 2020 US presidential elections, Facebook updated its policies on the spread of misinformation and released a bunch of new tools to better "protect the democratic process" in a post published yesterday.

"The bottom line here is that elections have changed significantly since 2016, and Facebook has changed too", Zuckerberg told reporters Monday, adding that the social media giant is "proactively going after some of the biggest threats out there" in ways that he says are "more advanced than what any other company is doing".

Facebook has unveiled a package of measures created to counter potential interference in the next United Kingdom general election as it seeks to demonstrate that it has regained control of its platform.

In addition, 38 accounts, 6 pages, 4 groups, and 10 Instagram accounts were wiped out for pretending to be local news organizations and reusing stories associated with conflicts between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine and the political situation in the United States. "The operators went to great lengths to hide their origins", said the Graphika report, adding that most of the posts were memes without text.

He also announced Monday that Facebook has already shut down four foreign networks on the platform - from Iran and Russian Federation - for allegedly attempting to interfere with upcoming elections. A wealth of information is also spread privately across Facebook's messaging services like WhatsApp and Messenger, two conduits that have been identified as prime channels for spreading misinformation. In recent days, Mr. Zuckerberg has met with USA lawmakers, sat for interviews with Fox News and MSNBC and issued a lengthy defence of free speech in a talk at Georgetown University.

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If Facebook finds a Page is concealing its ownership in order to mislead people, it will require it to successfully complete the verification process, and show more information in order for the Page to remain on the platform.

Looking to allay concerns about Libra, Zuckerberg's prepared remarks for the hearing focus on using the digital currency to help people without bank accounts, making it easier and cheaper for the so-called unbanked to transfer money. The social-media company unveiled a series of policy changes meant to fine-tune its defenses against disinformation, though Facebook left untouched a policy that allows political candidates to lie in their political ads.

Facebook said it was offering new protections for the accounts of political candidates, monitoring for hacking or hijacking.

And Facebook said it would more prominently label content that its fact-checkers have deemed false on its main social-networking app as well as Instagram. They primarily reused content shared across internet services by others, including screenshots of social media posts by news organisations and public figures.

"If we discover an attack against one account, we can review and protect other accounts affiliated with that same organization that are enrolled in our programme", said Guy Rosen, VP of Integrity at Facebook. In a recent speech, Mark Zuckerberg said, "we've found a different strategy works best: focusing on the authenticity of the speaker rather than the content itself".

Facebook will also ban paid advertising that suggests that voting is useless or advises people not to vote.

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