Inside Facebook’s election war room

Information war, meet war room. Facebook briefed reporters on Wednesday to uncover the malicious use of the platform during the election season, providing dozens of employees with large-scale boardroom tours that monitor events throughout the day.

"We have elections, every moment counts," said Samidh Chakrabarti, head of civil participation on Facebook to oversee the war room. "So if we have the latest problems on the platform, we should be able to detect and respond in real time as soon as possible."

On the other hand, the war room is at the MPK 20's many conference rooms, the company's Menlo Park, CA headquarters. But it is bigger than average and filled with people and electronic equipment. There is a desk for 24 people, and there are 17 screens in the room, and each screen highlights other information streams monitored by Facebook.


inside facebooks election war room

Facebook

Employees sometimes find suspicious spikes of spam and hate speech. Use custom software built for your purposes. We try to suppress voters by lying that the election is long or the election is delayed. (The team found such a lie recently arguing that Brazil's election date was delayed by a protest day and quickly removed bad news.)

Other employees use the CrowdTangle company acquired by Facebook. Understand what articles are trending on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit.

All 20 team representatives are in the war room and some 2,000 global employees work for safety and security. The team includes WhatsApp and Instagram representatives who own threat information, data science, engineering, research, operations, law, policy, communications, and Facebook.


1539859014 477 inside facebooks election war room

Facebook

If anyone finds a problem, they can escalate to a specialist and then pass on the expert to the right decision maker. Facebook also provided a way for the state attorney general and other elected officials to quickly access the war room to report voter suppression and other suspicious activity.

If Facebook team has been trying to process the wrong information in a coordinated way since 2016. The decision to collect everything into one room was made hoping to make the decision sooner.

"When every moment is important, decisions need to be made fast," Chakrabarti says. "There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction, so we felt this physical space of war for the team to adjust."

On that day of our visit, The flags were mixed and then decorated with nods in the two elections. I am watching in the war room. Last week, Facebook removed 559 pages and 251 accounts in the United States to use fake IDs and coordinate information campaigns. Meanwhile, a Brazilian researcher has published a study of the most shared images in the popular WhatsApp chat today, and many people have found it to contain false information.

Sample of over 100,000 political images circulated in 347 groups We chose the 50 most widely shared. It was reviewed by Agência Lupa, Brazil's leading fact-finding platform. Eight out of 50 pictures and images were considered completely false. 16 was an actual picture but was used in connection with the original context or the transformed data. Four are not based on untrusted, open sources, but are unverified claims. This means that 56% of the most shared images are misleading. Only 8% of the 50 most widely shared images are considered completely true.

Facebook will not open the war room forever. However, as the elections are held several times around the world every year, the company plans to remain open for the foreseeable future. "It will be a continuing arms race," said Katie Harbath, Facebook's director of global political and government affairs. "This is our new summit. The bad actor must be more sophisticated because he is more sophisticated about what he does."

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