Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg released a message Wednesday conceding a bug in a data scandal involving a data mining company with Trump connections. He says Facebook is taking steps to better protect user data. (March 21st)

SAN FRANCISCO – After being played by Russian activists during the 2016 presidential election, Facebook says that it works to streamline electoral security before the midterm elections.

Company executives described new initiatives to prevent foreign interference and anticipated new tactics to undermine the integrity of the November election. Thursday's comments were part of a growing public relations campaign to rebuild consumer confidence following the Cambridge Analytica data leak, which allowed access to the personal information of tens of millions of Facebook users for a political advertising agency without their consent , They come as concerns that Facebook can be over-exploited to disrupt elections and democracies around the world.

"We've done better and better over the past year and a half," said Samidh Chakrabarti, who directs Facebook's work on electoral security and civic engagement, to reporters. "We feel we will be in a really good place for the Midterms 2018."

Although Facebook pledges to bring "unprecedented" transparency about political messages, executives refused to say whether Facebook supports the proposed legislation, promoting political advertising on the social network and the identity of those who buy it.

And Facebook said it focuses on paid ads by federal candidates or political committees, not the negative appeals to Facebook users on hot-button social issues that were use of Russian activists in 2016.

Many of the ads Associated with Russian activists did not demand that people vote for a particular candidate. Instead, Russians posing as Americans spread divisive messages to rouse voters and public indignation. Federal laws prohibit foreign interests from making campaign contributions or disrupting US elections.

Rep. Illinois-based Democrat Democrat Robin Kelly, and a senior member of the IT Congressional Congressional Committee, said she was delighted that Facebook is taking steps to improve the disclosure of candidate ads, but says the company is a "major vulnerability" in social media. Miss media ads.

"You can do more simply," said Kelly

Mark Zuckerberg has promised to prevent foreign activists from interfering in US elections, but has admitted that he is not sure whether Facebook can prevent the problems of the 2016 presidential campaign recurring in this year's midterm elections

"We have a pretty good track record as a company of – as soon as we get down to business – we finally make it," said the Facebook CEO to USA TODAY in an November interview. But he admitted, "I do not know how long it will take to tackle this."

Since the presidential elections of 2012, political campaigns are increasingly using Facebook to cost-effectively reach certain voters. However, the social network does not have to follow any of the campaign financing laws applicable to television and radio advertising.

While political ads are still only a small part of Facebook's advertising revenue, this share is growing. During the last interim elections in 2014, digital advertising accounted for less than 1% of federal, state and local political spending, according to advertising tracking firm Borrell Associates. In this election cycle, Borrell Associates predicts that digital advertising will reach $ 1.9 billion of the more than $ 8 billion spent on political adverts.

Facebook sold $ 100,000 worth of political ads from counterfeit accounts and sites in Russia. Has promised to take voluntary steps in the past year to prevent foreign governments from using Facebook to manipulate elections and public disclosure in political circles. Englisch: … = 263 & lang = en Advertisements to increase

"None of us can turn the clock," said Guy Rosen, vice president of product management at Facebook, said Thursday. "But we are all responsible for ensuring that the same kind of attack does not happen to our democracy again, and we take our role in this effort very, very seriously."

More: Russia exploited racial segregation on Facebook. More black people, diversity could have helped.

More: Facebook, Google could face new rules for political ads as US gets along with foreign influence

More: Reports on Facebook data abuse spur calls for regulation, review of social media companies

More: Facebook political ads come from The Shadows – why you should take care of it

In the coming months, political ads on Facebook will include revelations that people hear on the radio or see in newspapers or on television, according to Rob Ledern, Product (19659008) Marketers need to confirm their identity where they are in the US and which candidates, organizations or companies represent them before they can post ads for political candidates on Facebook.

Election-affiliated ads are featured on Facebook and Instagram feeds. And as of this summer, an archive will be available where the public can see the ads and get more information about how much money was spent, how many impressions they received, and what audience demographics were achieved, Learnn told reporters.

"Facebook's immediate focus needs to be on improving the transparency around legal ads – candidates and PACs – so that voters know they see a political ad and who gets paid for it," says Yochai Benkler, law professor in Harvard and co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, said in an e-mail. "Candidate and PAC spend on ads has heavily overshadowed the Russian spending we know, and much of it was as divisive as the Russian campaign."

Crackdown on flaming advertising

Facebook tries to focus on that […] official ads from US political campaigns, says Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of media science at the University of Virginia and author of the upcoming book on Facebook Antisocial Media

Attention to all the pollution that will also flow through our news, such as propaganda, doubts and mistrust in society "Democracy, science and basic institutions should sow," Vaidhyanathan said.

Experts say Facebook must crack down on inflammatory ADS on politically contentious issues such as immigration reform and gun rights used to influence voters during the presidential campaign. 19659008] That's easier said than done, according to Stanford University economics professor Matthew Gentzko Candidates are easy to identify, but "there is a whole soup of ads that are much harder to define," he said.

There is no simple test to separate political and non-political communication, says Stanford professor and suffrage expert Nathaniel Persisch.

But electoral experts say Facebook must tackle this insidious form of voting.

"The elections in 2016 had no problem with candidate advertising and the problems came from foreign interference in American elections." UC Irvine law professor and election expert Rick Hasen said. "To say that they are not targeting this shows now that they are far from finding solutions to the main problem."

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