Facebook’s new Voting Information Center has many new features to help users ahead of the upcoming election, but one of the center’s most critical aspects will be to act as a line of defense against misinformation.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said in a press call that the social network is closely tracking three different types of threats leading up to Election Day. These include attempts to suppress voter turnout by spreading false information in how voting works, hack and leak scenarios, and attempts to corrupt or manipulate public debate during ballot counting.
Gleicher said the platform is working with other tech companies and government agencies in the form of regular meetings to tackle these hack and leak scenarios in which bad actors target traditional media outlets and use social media to spread misinformation.
The Voting Information Center provides credible resources on the voting process, including how mail-in voting works and early voting. Gleicher said that these topics are increasingly being targeted by actors posting false information to suppress voter turnout on Election Day.
Once Election Day hits, Facebook will turn to its voter information center to focus on providing accurate updates when it comes to ballot counting and limiting post-Election Day chaos. Since more voters are turning to mail-in ballots this year due to the coronavirus, Facebook anticipates that we won’t have final results on election night itself. To combat the spread of misinformation about the results, Gleicher said Facebook would provide clear and accurate information to the top of users’ news feeds.
“It looks increasingly like we won’t have results on election night. In that period of uncertainty, we want to get accurate information to voters,” Gleicher said. “Getting accurate information to voters is one of the best vaccines against influence operations.”
Gleicher said teams will be working 24/7 during Election Day and the days following to find and stop actors spreading false information about the election results.
Aside from catching misinformation threats, Facebook is also using the Voting Information Center to focus on voter registration. The social network has the ambitious goal of registering 4 million of its users to vote.
The Voting Information Center is rolling out Thursday, August 13, to Facebook and Instagram.
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