Facebook says 'war room' meant to be temporary

Facebook says 'war room' meant to be temporary
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Facebook is pushing back on a report that it disbanded its “war room,” the team the company created to fight issues like disinformation campaigns on its platform.

The company told The Hill that the team had not been intended as a permanent fixture within the company, but as an effort to step up preparations for major elections like this month's midterms.

"Our war room effort is focused specifically on elections-related issues and is designed to rapidly respond to threats such as voter suppression efforts and civic-related misinformation," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "It was an effective effort during the recent U.S. and Brazil elections, and we are planning to expand the effort going forward for elections around the globe."

Bloomberg had reported the end of the war room in a Monday report highlighting how Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s No. 2 executive, is responding to the negative attention she’s starting to receive in light of the company's recent scandals.

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According to Bloomberg, the social network will now rely on a permanent “strategic response” team that Sandberg had created to handle urgent, unfolding situations facing the company.

Last month, Facebook’s war room was being sold to the media as the company’s defense against election meddling efforts, with a handful of outlets publishing articles on the team in mid-October.

The company said on Monday that there was little need for a midterms war room now that the election had passed, but it could still utilize such teams in the future.

The new strategic response team is headed by Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of operations.

Osofsky told Bloomberg that the team handles the “types of problems that cut across the company, touching a lot of different product teams.”

Updated at 1:17 p.m.