Social networking platforms Facebook and Twitter were busy battling misinformation and fake news as the US voted in the midterm elections on Tuesday.
According to a report in USA Today late Tuesday, Facebook “swiftly removed misinformation, such as posts and memes, urging Republicans and Democrats to vote on the wrong day and claims that federal immigration agents would be patrolling polling places”.
Twitter said it was combating voter suppression but “declined to share any details about what tweets were removed”.
According to a CNET report, Facebook took action against inaccurate posts and memes that told Republicans and Democrats to vote on different days.
“The team is closely monitoring the election from our war room and are in regular contact with our partners in government. So far we haven’t seen anything unexpected,” Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.
“We will continue to monitor activity closely and act quickly against content that violates our policy.”
According to Carlos Monje, Twitter’s Director of Policy and philanthropy for US and Canada attempts to game its systems or to spread deliberately malicious election content will be removed from Twitter.
“We continue to have success in this regard and are enforcing our policies vigilantly, particularly against automation and voter suppressive content on the service. As always, we encourage users to think before sharing,” Monje said in a statement.
Facebook on Monday said it blocked 30 accounts on its platform and 85 accounts on Instagram that may be engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” from foreign entities into the midterms.
According to the social networking giant, US law enforcement contacted them about the online activity that they recently discovered and which they believe may be linked to foreign entities.
“We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Facebook India rolls out ‘Diwali Story’ feature
Adding to its ‘holiday Stories’ edition Facebook on Wednesday rolled out a special Diwali “Story” feature exclusively to users in India that would enable them to see, share experiences as well as connect with their loved ones.
The “Start a Story for Diwali” feature will be visible on top of users’ News Feed for 24 hours and will only be available in English.
Users can also add to the Story by selecting “Add to Story” icon, and by using the Facebook Camera one can take a photo or video.
“Today, people in India will be able to see and share a collective Diwali,” the social media giant said in a statement.
“Story that will appear on top of their Facebook News Feed, with additional promotions within the Feed. This Diwali Story will only be available to some English language users in India and will last only 24 hours, just like any other story,” it added.
The Facebook camera, which is packed with dozens of effects like masks, frames, and interactive filters, can help add creativity to the photos and videos.
Users can also see a message from Facebook in the News Feed that links them directly to the Diwali Story.
Clicking the story, one can see stories shared by friends.
However, adding to the Diwali Story cannot add to users’ personal story.
But users do have the option to upload to both, the statement said.
Importantly, the Diwali special feature is exclusive to Facebook users only in India. It will now show to users from other countries.
Indo-Asian News Service.