Amid reports on abuse of social media platforms for electioneering, Facebook said yesterday it was committed to working with a variety of stakeholders from local organisations, academics and the government to maintain the integrity of elections in Sri Lanka.
A spokesman from Facebook told Daily Mirror that keeping the platform safe was important to them not only during Sri Lanka’s presidential election but throughout the year.
“We are committed to working with a variety of stakeholders from local organisations, academics and the government to maintain the integrity of elections in Sri Lanka. This includes our commitment to fighting the spread of fake news and misinformation by reducing the spread of false news and also educating people on how to spot false news and misinformation,” the spokesman said.
As part of their global effort to keep the platform safe, they have more than doubled since last year the number of people working on safety and security issues around the world to 30,000 people. Facebook has dedicated teams working on all of the world's upcoming elections to help detect and prevent malicious actors or abuse on Facebook including in Sinhala.
“We know people want to see accurate information on Facebook – and so do we. We also know misinformation is harmful to our community and makes the world less informed, particularly in the context of elections. We can't combat false news alone – we believe it requires a concerted effort across industry, academics, civil society and government, but we are absolutely committed to playing our part. That is why we are working hard to fight the spread of false news on Facebook. We have a three-pronged strategy to prevent misinformation from spreading on our services: ‘Remove, Reduce, Inform.’ We remove content which violates our community standards including fake accounts which are a big distributor of misinformation. We removed 2.2 billion fake accounts in the first quarter of this year and block millions more at registration every day,” the spokesman said.
Facebook removes any misinformation that is designed to deter people from voting – e.g. sharing false information about polling stations and voter registration. (Kelum Bandara)