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Reuters

Facebook Investigation Begins

As an investigation begins into Facebook, the company announces new security measures to prevent another stolen election

Kris LaGrange's picture
Oct 23, 2019

With the Presidential Election just a year away and evidence mounting that foreign governments are preparing to infiltrate our elections once again, Facebook is coming under new scrutiny.

To get in front of any criticism, the social network giant has released a plan to increase their election security efforts. According to the company, Facebook is launching a special security tool for elected officials and candidates that will monitor their accounts for hacking attempts, especially those coming from unusual or unverified locations. This was a major issue during the 2016 campaign when the Democratic National Committee got hacked at the direction of Trump and Putin and had their emails stolen and released to the public.

Facebook is also going after fake news and propaganda. The company announced that they had removed four networks of fake, state-backed misinformation spreading accounts that were linked to Russia and Iran. They said that those networks were not only targeting elections in the United States, but also in North Africa and Latin America. Facebook will also be labeling posts that come from state-controlled media sources and adding prominent labels on posts that have been debunked, including labels that say “false” or “partly false.” This will include news stories, photos, and videos.

To let their users know who is behind the information being put out there, Facebook will begin to require more information about the people or groups that set up pages or Facebook Groups. The company hopes that by letting users know who is behind the story, users will be able to determine what information needs to be taken with a grain of salt. This process is already underway and UCOMM has been asked to update our page’s information, as well as those of some of our clients.

While Facebook is preparing for the 2020 Election, they are also preparing for the oncoming attack from 47 State Attorneys General. The probe, which was launched last month by New York Attorney General Letitia James, focuses on whether Facebook’s dominance is stifling competition, limiting choices for consumers, and costing advertisers more money. The group is also concerned about the handling of users’ private data after the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed how Facebook’s data could be used to inflame tensions and fears, allowing someone like Trump to get elected. The bi-partisan investigation comes after the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5 Billion for privacy violations.

Facebook isn’t the only tech company that is currently being investigated. 48 states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have opened investigations into Google. They allege that the company is engaging in monopolistic behavior as they dominate web searches and have one of the largest ad networks on the internet. “No company gets a pass if it throttles competitors and exploits consumers,” said DC Attorney General Karl Racine.

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