Facebook remains vague about how many accounts it actually kicked off the platform. Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, Bill Whalen, said he’s surprised Zuckerberg took the bait.
Through Facebook, and also Google in its search results, websites distributing fake news were able to use outlandish claims to lure in social media users, with the aim of making advertising revenue thanks to the clickbait nature of the stories.
Besides seeking to encourage civic participation and voter education efforts, it also worked closely with authorities, including the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), to monitor security threats during the campaign. “We provided training for members of Parliament and candidates on online security issues”, the post reads.
Mr. Trump has expressed skepticism about the intelligence community’s findings that Russian Federation interfered in the USA election, and has called the investigation into Moscow’s role and related issues a “witch hunt”.
“These actions did not eliminate misinformation entirely in this election – but they did make it harder to spread, and less likely to appear in people’s News Feeds”, Allan wrote.
Facebook continues to be scrutinized over how disinformation shared on Facebook can influence elections.
After witnessing the role fake news and Russian interference played in the USA presidential election, many analysts anxious a similar phenomenon would also plague last Sunday’s German federal elections.
Zuckerberg has been on the defensive for weeks over revelations that Russian agents bought ads on Facebook and created fake accounts to inflame political tensions in the United States ahead of the 2016 presidential vote.
He said that Facebook’s biggest role in the USA election was as a platform for candidates and citizens to communicated directly with one another regarding issues.
The company said it made a stronger push to remove fake accounts when it observed suspicious activity following widely reported foreign interference in the French and US presidential elections over the past year.
While the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, party made historic gains in the election and became the first hardline nationalist party to sit in the Bundestag since the 1960s, Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice-president of public policy in Europe, said in a blog post Wednesday that the company’s effort against fake news was largely successful.
He later walked back those comments, and said in February that it was Facebook’s responsibility “to amplify the good effects and mitigate the bad”.