Pakistan Elections: Facebook launches Integrity Initiative

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By Muhammad Luqman

Social media website, Facebook is making preparations to ensure transparency in General Elections being held in Pakistan on July 25 by preventing malicious actors and abuse on its platform.

The website recently stated  that it has begun the pilot project of its Third Party Fact Checking for the community in Pakistan in order to “detect and demote false news on Facebook”, according to media reports.

Facebook is closely working with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to better understand and resolve the specific challenges associated with all Facebook’s platforms i.e. WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook itself, which are faced during elections.

“We have been working proactively with the Election Commission of Pakistan to help support their effort to maintain the integrity of the election. Facebook has helped educate Election Commission officials on how our platform works with the goal of increasing transparency, improving security, and promoting civic engagement”, according to Facebook’s statement.

Facebook has also launched a website under the title of “Pakistan Election Integrity Initiative” for candidates and parties in Pakistan. The major motive behind this website is to “offer tips and best practices in English and Urdu for politicians and political parties” so that they may engage their followers and their Facebook Pages and accounts remain protected. With the help of this initiative, Facebook will “secure candidate and party Pages to protect them from hacking and impersonation”.

The website  is also working to raise the number of people working on safety and security issues worldwide to 20 thousand by the end of 2018, and the social media giant is employing these teams to combat fake news in elections across the globe including Pakistan.

Facebook will use the combination of AI and human review to recognize false news. By partnering with AFP for Third Party Fact Checking, Facebook will be able to monitor content on its platform more easily. Facebook will “use signals, including feedback from people on Facebook and clickbait sensationalist headlines” in order to mark “potentially false stories” so that fact-checkers like AFP could review them.

“When fact-checkers rate a story as false, we significantly reduce its distribution in News Feed — dropping future views on average by more than 80%. Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed,” social website said.

Facebook is also working on new ways to collaborate with the ECP to “share a reminder about the ECP’s 8300 Voter SMS service”, which has been specifically developed to give Pakistani voters easy access to their record and info about polling station.

 

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