In less than 2 weeks, South Africans will be deciding their national affairs in the South Africa’s 2019 National Election but Facebook aims to protect the integrity of democracy on it’s platform during the election period.
The company aims to educate the general public about”Dubious” News and also improving the User Interface elements within it’s web and mobile applications in an attempt to help political parties to secure their pages.
Facebook’s Public Policy lead, Emilar Gandhi made it known that the company had listened closely to the concerns of South African political parties, civil society organizations, regulators, electoral commisions as well as the general public in order to anticipate challenges across the platform during the election.
“This is something we have been working hard on since 2018 and have made significant investments in helping Facebook be a place where people feel safe, can access accurate information and make their voices heard in South Africa,” she added.
The base of the whole story is Facebook trying to ensure a peaceful election that is free from intrusion from any alien or political party. The company even want to go as far as tweaking it’s website user interface to be specifically suitable for the South Africans.
Facebook is intent on preserving South Africa’s ‘election integrity’ on its platform
The new tweak will enable South African users of Facebook to be able to report posts that contains incorrect election information or posts that encourages violence or otherwise anything that violates the company’s community standards in any way.
Political parties are also being educated about the importance of securing their accounts on the platform so they don’t get lost to the hands of perpetrators who can use their accounts for unsolicited attacks on the platform.
“In partnership with the electoral commission, in the lead up to elections we have trained 48 major political parties in understanding the platform and tools at their disposal, with a specific focus on best practice for civic engagement, including how to turn on two-factor authentication and avoid common threats online,” Facebook added.
The social network’s also taking action against “impersonation” accounts.
“Thanks to recent advancements in our detection technology, we have become much more effective at identifying and deactivating these accounts and continue to take proactive measures,” it explained.
Facebook’s educating political parties on understanding how best to secure their accounts
Finally, it hopes to suppress fake news on its platform with the help of its partner fact-checking agency AfricaCheck.
“When content is found to be false, we reduce its distribution in News Feed so fewer people see it, and also show related articles from fact-checkers featuring factual information as to why a story is deemed false for more context, whilst notifying users if a story they share is rated as false,” Facebook added.
With the election set to come up by May 8, 2019, the safety of the social network platform to voters and other citizens of the country is what Facebook is prioritizing it’s core effort upon to see that no issue of hate and violence ever emanate from the platform which can in turn have a negative effect on the election of South Africa.