WASHINGTON: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had made some fresh comments over upcoming national elections in India. After a huge private data scandal by the UK-based Cambridge Analytica involving the Social Network giant, the CEO apologized publicly and later there were some promises regarding the issue to be solved.
According to the fresh update by the company, Facebook, has deployed technology tools like artificial intelligence and thousands of people to work on security as the company is focused this year to safeguard the integrity of upcoming elections in several countries, which includes India, on its platform, the founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said.
He termed the year 2018 to be a “big year” for elections, and said that Facebook was upgrading and enhancing its security features to prevent trolls from spreading information.
The Social Media giant has been heavily criticized over a major data breach scandal by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
“In the US Senate Alabama special election last year, we successfully deployed some new artificial intelligence (AI) tools that removed Macedonian trolls who were trying to spread information during the election. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review and we’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” Mark Zuckerberg told reporters through a conference call on Tuesday.
“This is going to be a big year for elections ahead with the US midterms and elections in India, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Hungary and others. This is going to be a major focus for us,” he said.
Many states like Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are scheduled to go for elections this year and the general elections are due in a little over a year from now.
Just a day earlier, Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook had taken several big steps by taking down Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) pages that were targeting the US.
“Since we became aware of their activity after the 2016 US elections, we’ve been working to root out the IRA and protect the integrity of elections around the world,” he said.
“There have been a number of important elections that we’ve focused on. A few months after the 2016 elections, there was a French presidential election and leading up to that we deployed some new AI tools that took down more than 30,000 fake accounts,” he said.
In Germany polls, the company had developed a new playbook for working with the local election commission on share information on threats it received, he said.
“We have more work to do here and we’re going to continue working very hard to defend against them. There’s the Mexican presidential election, there are big elections in India and Brazil as well as in Pakistan and Hungary and a number of other countries and the US midterms, of course,” he said.
The Facebook CEO pointed out at least three different types of activity that required different types of strategies for fighting.
Economic actors who turn out to be basically spammers; the second are all the governments who try to interfere in elections, and then the third point is just polarization and sometimes lack of truthfulness in what you’ve described as the media, he said.