Facebook highlights anti-disinformation efforts ahead of parliamentary hearing

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Facebook argued Monday its progress in the fight against disinformation, three days before a hearing in the US Congress on this subject which mobilizes both elected Democrats and Republicans.

The social media giant has disabled more than 1.3 billion fake accounts in the last quarter of 2020 alone, according to a statement.

The largely automated detection and blocking of inauthentic profiles, which are used to spread rumors and other false content, are at the heart of the arsenal of the group’s moderation teams.

“We have every reason to be motivated to keep disinformation at bay from our apps and we have taken many steps to achieve this, at the expense of growing user numbers and engagement,” Guy said. Rosen, vice president responsible for the integrity of the group’s platforms.

Thursday, the founder and boss of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, will have to answer questions from elected officials, alongside Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Sundar Pichai (Google).

“For too long, the ‘big tech’ have refused to recognize the role they play in the creation and dissemination of deliberately false information,” said the chairmen of the parliamentary committees which summoned the three leaders of Silicon Valley.

“Self-regulation of the industry has failed,” they added as tensions between social media and politicians have escalated over the past year, from the election campaign to riots caused by supporters. extremists of Donald Trump on January 6 in Washington.

Facebook has more than 35,000 people responsible for moderating exchanges and fighting against abuses, such as public opinion manipulation campaigns.

These teams have thus removed more than 100 networks guilty of “inauthentic behavior” (such as creating fake accounts) over the past three years.

They make extensive use of artificial intelligence, which is very effective against fraud and spam, but also increasingly against disinformation.

The company’s automated systems have removed more than 12 million misleading COVID-19 or vaccine content since the start of the pandemic, according to Facebook.

The platform has also invested in an extensive program of information verification by independent third parties (including AFP) to identify questionable information, reduce its circulation and publish verification articles.

“Despite all these efforts, some believe that we have a financial interest in tolerating disinformation,” said Guy Rosen. ” It’s the opposite that is true “.

NGOs, observers and elected officials accuse Facebook of taking advantage of this scourge to keep the attention of its users, the engine of its economic model based on advertising.