LONDON – Facebook will create a “War Room” in Dublin this spring to fight fake news and misinformation in the European Union (EU) elections. The announcement was made by Sir Nick Clegg, Facebook’s incoming Vice-President of Global Affairs and Communications.
‘Rapid Response” to Fake News
In a speech to policymakers in Brussels, the former UK Deputy Prime Minister said Facebook will open an “operations center focused on elections integrity, based in Dublin, this spring.” Sir Nick added (via the Guardian): “This approach will help boost our rapid response efforts to fight misinformation, bringing together dozens of experts from across the company – including from our threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, community operations. and legal teams.”
Sir Nick explained that staff at the center “will work closely with the lawmakers, election commissions, other tech companies, academics, and civil society groups to continue the fight against fake news, prevent the spread of voter suppression efforts.” He said that this will help to “further integrate the large number of teams working on these important issues across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.”
New Tools and Advert Transparancy
The speech from Sir Nick, the first in his new role, was accompanied by updates from other Facebook executives on election integrity. Katie Harbath, Global Politics, and Government Outreach Director and Samidh Chakrabarti, Director of Product Management, Civic Engagement laid out how the company is expanding transparency in election advertising. The new rules state that nobody outside the country can post a political advert. They were introduced in Nigeria in January 2019.
In a separate post, Anika Geisel, Facebook’s head of Public Policy Elections in Europe said the company “will launch new tools to help prevent foreign interference in the upcoming elections and make political advertising on Facebook more transparent.” The tools will arrive in March, she said.