Facebook touts responses to false information ahead of midterms

Facebook touts responses to false information ahead of midterms
© Getty

Facebook is deploying a number of strategies to bolster the social media site's defenses against false and misleading information ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, company officials said Tuesday. 

Among the tactics: artificial intelligence and creating a streamlined process for the site's fact-checkers, according to a Reuters report

But the officials, speaking in a telephone briefing with reporters, also said that Facebook would not remove postings just because they are false, echoing an assertion made repeatedly by CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFacebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach Social media never intended to be in the news business — but just wait till AI takes over Facebook exploring deals with media outlets for news section: report MORE.

ADVERTISEMENT

The chief executive faced scrutiny last week after he pointed to Holocaust denials as a form of content that would not be taken down, as long as the posters "aren’t intentionally getting it wrong."

Facebook has come under fire in recent years for its failure to crack down on false information and political propaganda, particularly during the 2016 presidential campaign. U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russia used the website to exacerbate political divisions and spread misinformation in an effort to sway the presidential race.

The social media giant has also faced intense criticism for its handling of its users' personal data. 

The Tuesday briefing came just before BuzzFeed published a memo that Facebook's outgoing chief security officer Alex Stamos had posted to an internal company site in March.

That memo said company employees needed “to be willing to pick sides when there are clear moral or humanitarian issues,” and urged the company to “deprioritize short-term growth and revenue and to explain to Wall Street why that is ok.”

“We need to intentionally not collect data where possible, and to keep it only as long as we are using it to serve people,” the memo reads.