The social media platform giant has announced it is rolling out a strategy in an attempt to disseminate disinformation surrounding the next UK election. The platform admits that it is a target for foreign slander campaigns who try to influence the state of news and current affairs on other countries, through the use of slander campaigns on pages that attempt to deceive.
Facebook announced that it has just removed four of these foreign influence groups from Facebook and Instagram, three of which were from Iran and one from Russia. Security officers stated that these accounts showed signs of being well resourced and tactical in their approach. The influencers took careful steps to hide their true identity and location, all while trying to grow the operation and reach more people.
Fake news is not a new problem on Facebook and continues to prevail on the platform. It continues to catch users out, and with so many people now using the platform, it becomes an impossible task to completely eradicate all fake news. With the country focused on the state of UK politics, it becomes increasingly important to actively tackle this problem.
Recently there was a case where the UK Conservative party had published an advert where they had taken a BBC news headline and altered the most important part of it. This part was the figures from a story done by the BBC outlining a cash injection into UK schools by the government. The Conservatives cited this number as a “£14 billion cash boost for schools,” when in fact the BBC number was half this at 7.1 billion.
This clear misrepresentation of the facts was done in order to make the government more generous than it actually was, which could sway voting numbers. Full Fact, a fact-checking charity claims that political parties should not lie about the “work of independent journalists.”