Facebook’s Australia boss Will Easton says the social media giant is working with local authorities to ensure next year’s federal election is not influenced by fake accounts and bad actors manipulating users on the social media platform, according to an interview with Fairfax Media.
Easton said its policy team is working with the government on election integrity in a effort to prevent an Australian version of the Cambridge Analytica scandal where user data was harvested and then used by political strategists to manipulate and influence users to vote for Donald Trump in the US election.
"Our policy team are in constant connection with the government around a number of different areas and election integrity is clearly a part of that. We're very proactively talking to the election authorities in Australia about potential elections coming up," he told the Fairfax Media.
The report said that Facebook has been working with election authorities in France and Germany since Cambridge Analytica in an effort to prevent the platform from being used to impact election outcomes.
Facebook has stepped up efforts to provide more transparency around political ads, such as verification the ads are from a legitimate source and labelling that flags if an ad is political and who they are from.
Facebook removed 1.3 billion fake accounts in the first half of 2018, most within minutes of creation, which underlines the scale of the problem.
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