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Facebook bolsters election integrity with AI, banning 1 million accounts per day

Facebook is fighting battles on many fronts, from criticism of its data handling to the regulation of content that appears on its platform. In an attempt to bolster political integrity ahead of India’s elections, the social network is utilising advancements in artificial intelligence to weed out accounts that violate its policies.

Ever since Russian interference was identified during the 2016 US presidential elections, Facebook has been lambasted for its efforts to eschew electoral meddling. The social network is doing its best to prove that it is putting appropriate measures in place to combat manipulation, looking towards AI to swiftly ban malicious accounts before the damage is done.

As India approaches its General Election for the 17th Lok Sabha, Facebook's India managing director and vice president Ajit Mohan revealed that the company has utilised the technology to “identify abusive or violating content, quickly locate it across the platform and remove it in bulk.” On average, the tool helps to block a staggering one million accounts per day on a global scale, while 700 Pages, Groups and accounts have been ousted in India just last week.

Artificial Intelligence is just the latest method employed by Facebook to ensure that the job is done quickly. Since electoral campaigns opened in India more than 18 months ago, the social network has required those running political advertisements to verify their identity. This information is then stored on a public database accessible by all, helping to maintain transparency with users.

Although the efforts are more relevant to India than most countries right now, Facebook is expanding the initiative globally as it adds 24 new languages to its automatic translation system and continues to partner with third-party fact-checkers to further authenticate information. With the US 2020 elections right around the corner, this will be welcome news to many.

KitGuru Says: With nations divided now more than ever, Facebook desperately needs to keep its political dealings in check so as to avoid further animosity. Fortunately, it looks like it’s doing a relatively good job, even if CEO Mark Zuckerberg would prefer government regulation over his own.

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