On Oct. 7, during the first round of Brazil’s presidential election, Facebookemployees noticed something suspicious on the social network.
A story posted to Facebook incorrectly claimed the election was delayed because of protests. The company’s data scientists and operations team scrambled to pull down the misinformation before it went viral.
These employees were working face-to-face in Facebook’s new “war room,” an operation the social media giant launched in September to stamp out fake news, disinformation and fake accounts in real time.
“We know that when it comes to an election, really every moment counts,” said Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s director of elections and civic engagement work.
As the clock winds down before the run-off elections in Brazil and the midterm elections in the US, Facebook is trying to prove to both the public and lawmakers that it’s more prepared to combat election interference on its network. There’s a lot at stake not only for democracy, but for Facebook, which has seen, and Americans, too, exploit the social network to spread hoaxes and sow discord.