Facebook tightens security ahead of Pakistan elections
Islamabad, July 8: In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal whereby information of lakhs of people was compromised via social media during key elections across the world, Facebook has claimed to have tightened security measures ahead of the July 25 elections in Pakistan, the Dawn reported on Sunday, July 8.
The social media giant said to have increased the number of personnel working in the area to prevent its abuse during the elections for both the national and provincial governments of Pakistan, Dawn reported. It also started training officials of the country's election commission to enhance transparency, it added.
On Saturday, July 7, Facebook spokesperson in Pakistan Sarim Aziz told Dawn that the social media giant was taking a slew measures to ensure "integrity of elections" across the globe, including in Pakistan. He said steps were being taken to safeguard pages of political parties and candidates, improving enforcement of its ad policies and combat fake news and their spread.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who had faced a serious grilling from the US Congress in the wake of the CA scandal and vowed to come up with a strongly defended social media to prevent a repetition of the same in the future, had mentioned about Pakistan's election while reorganising Facebook's stance to curb outside election interference.
"With important elections coming up in the US, Mexico, Brazil, India, Pakistan and more countries in the next year, one of my top priorities for 2018 is making sure we support positive discourse and prevent interference in these elections," Zuckerberg had said in an official post on Facebook in April.
Aziz said people could now see active ads from pages on Facebook and the feature will help communities in Pakistan to view ads across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and they could learn more about pages even if they didn't advertise.
On the issue of fake accounts, Aziz said they are a major menace and that Facebook was working on making improvements. He said Facebook removed nearly six million fake accounts across the world in the first quarter of 2018, the Dawn report added.
In May, Facebook blocked a 2017 post by Dawn for users in Pakistan. It provided a link to a story on former PML(N) president Javed Hashmi criticising the country's judiciary. The social media giant the access to the post was limited because of Pakistan's local law.