Home / Business / Facebook begins reviewing photos / videos, blocking millions of fake accounts every day – TechCrunch

Facebook begins reviewing photos / videos, blocking millions of fake accounts every day – TechCrunch

Facebook has begun enabling partners to review photos and videos beyond news articles and proactively review stories before Facebook asks them. Facebook is now blocking the creation of millions of counterfeit accounts per day. Facebook unveiled this message in a conference call with journalists [Update: and later a blog post] about its efforts toward electoral integrity, including chief stakeholder Alex Stamos, who is scheduled to leave Facebook later this year.

Articles flagged as false by Facebook partners have their reach reduced and display Related Articles show prospects of reputable news outlets below

Stamos outlined how Facebook manages to address false identities and false accounts, targeting wrong audiences to illegally educate or replenish to make content more popular, disseminate false information and false narratives that purposely deceive and shape people's beliefs beyond the facts. "It's important to find the right approach to each of these challenges," explains Stamos, explaining that Facebook is adapting its solutions to these problems in different countries around the world.

Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook's Civic Engagement Product Manager, also said Facebook is proactively looking for third-party sites that authentically produce civic content. It removes them from the platform if a manual review by the security team determines that they violate the Terms of Service.

"This proactive approach has moved us faster and has become a really important way to prevent divisive or misleading memes from becoming viral," Chakrabarti said. Facebook initially used this tool in the special elections in Alabama, but has now used it to defend the Italian elections and will use it for US midterm elections.

Meanwhile, advances in machine learning have made Facebook "show more suspicious behavior without checking the content itself," blocking millions of counterfeit account creations per day "before they can do any harm," says Chakrabarti.

Facebook implemented its first election protection measures back in December 201

6, including working with third-party checkers to label items as false. But these red flags were shown to meld some people's beliefs into false stories, which led Facebook to show Related Articles with prospects from other reputable news agencies. Since yesterday Facebook fact-checking partners have started to check suspicious photos and videos that may also spread false information. This could reduce the spread of false news image memes that live on Facebook and do not require additional clicks, such as the photos of Parkland schoolchildren ripping up the constitution.

Facebook usually sends facts that are tagged by users and go viral. But now, in countries like Italy and Mexico in the run-up to elections, Facebook has enabled fact checkers to actively tag things because in some cases they can identify false stories that are spreading in front of Facebook's own systems. "To reduce pre-election latency, we wanted to make sure that we give the fact-testers this ability," says Tessa Lyons, product manager at Facebook.

A photo of Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez picking up a shooting range target was falsely manipulated. Show her how she rips the Constitution. Reviewing photos can help Facebook prevent the wrong picture from becoming viral. [Image via CNN]

Faced with the upcoming mid-term, Facebook must protect its systems against electoral attacks and convince users and regulators that it has made real progress since the 2016 presidential election, where Russian killers raged. Otherwise, Facebook risks another endless news cycle about this being a detriment to democracy that could trigger reduced user interest and government interference.

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