Tech Secrets

Facebook to label the national origin of some political posts in a move to curb misinformation

OAKLAND, Calif. – Facebook said it will label some election-related posts with their geographic origin in an attempt to curb political misinformation by foreign-based pages that mimic legitimate groups and political parties.

The new policy will apply to popular election-related pages, and every post they make on Facebook and Instagram will be stamped with its origin. For instance, an Instagram account targeting U.S. voters but based in Brazil will have every post labeled with “Based in Brazil.” Users can swipe to find out more about the account.

It’s the social network’s latest attempt to fight election-related misinformation. Russia and other countries have used social media to try to influence political discourse in the USA and elsewhere, often by masquerading as interest groups.

Facebook says it will include the origin of election-related posts on its site and Instagram.
Facebook will initially target pages based outside the USA that reach a large number of people inside. The labels, the company said, will help people “gauge the reliability and authenticity” of what they see.

Last fall, Facebook removed dozens of pages and accounts that purported to be Americans focused on U.S. politics but that actually originated in Iran and Russia. In March, Twitter and Facebook announced takedowns of Russian trolls outsourcing election interference efforts to countries in West Africa.

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