Meta beefing up security ahead of 2022 midterm elections

Tech

(NewsNation) — With midterm elections just months away, Facebook parent company Meta has announced a plan to combat election meddling.

The company says hundreds of people are working across more than 40 teams to combat the spread of false information by nefarious groups, individuals, and foreign governments. Meta said it has spent about $5 billion on safety and security last year alone.

The increased spending comes after Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress last March, vowing to crack down on election fraud and interference.

“The system isn’t perfect but it’s the best approach we have found to address misinformation in line with our country’s values,” Zuckerberg told Congress.

The company claims it has banned more than 250 white supremacist groups from its platform and gotten rid of 2.5 million pieces of hate content in the first quarter of 2022. About 97% of that content was found first by security measures, rather than someone reporting it.

Meta says it is working closely with federal and state cybersecurity agencies, and it has increased its security to fight foreign adversaries from interfering in U.S. elections. The company is also combating campaigns by domestic entities from spreading misinformation.

“We also don’t want misinformation to spread that undermines confidence in vaccines, stops people from voting, or causes other harms,” Zuckerberg said in his congressional testimony.

As part of its security plan, Meta will remove any misinformation from its platform, including dates and times, locations, voting methods, who can vote and whether a vote will be counted. Ads telling people not to vote and questioning the legitimacy of the election will be taken down or not published.

But some political analysts such as Anthony Russo worry the policies aren’t doing enough to ease voters’ concerns.

“We’ve already seen what they did in the 2020 election, and it did not exactly sow voter confidence across the board, especially if you look at people that are more on the conservative side of voting,” Russo said. “When you look at the policies they have in place, they’re actually just inflating what they did in 2020.”

Meta also says it will not allow new political, electoral and social-issue ads during the last week of election campaigns.

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