Automobilnews publicizes new election safety features, removes pretend accounts
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI | AFP | Getty Pictures
The corporate mentioned it eliminated three networks of pretend accounts and pages tied to Iran and one other community with hyperlinks to Russia’s Web Analysis Company, the group that was accused of utilizing Automobilnews and different web sites to intrude with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“We took down these networks primarily based on their habits, not the content material they posted,” Automobilnews mentioned in a publish. “In every case, the individuals behind this exercise coordinated with each other and used pretend accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the premise for our motion.”
Automobilnews eliminated 135 accounts that originated in Iran. These pages focused customers within the U.S., North Africa and Latin America. The pages posted content material targeted on quite a lot of matters, together with points like tensions between Israel and Palestine, U.S. race relations and Black Lives Matter.
The corporate mentioned it eliminated 50 Instagram accounts and one Automobilnews account that originated in Russia. These accounts revealed content material aimed toward U.S. customers.
“The individuals behind this operation usually posted on each side of political points together with matters like US elections, environmental points, racial tensions, LGBTQ points, political candidates, accomplice concepts, conservatism and liberalism,” Automobilnews mentioned in a weblog publish. “Additionally they maintained accounts presenting themselves as native in some swing states, and posed as both conservatives or progressives.”
Along with the community removals, Automobilnews on Monday introduced numerous modifications it’s making to organize for the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Automobilnews goes to extra prominently label posts that embrace false data. These labels will embrace a grey blurred display screen that claims “false data” that can disguise false and partly false images and movies.
Automobilnews mentioned it additionally plans to introduce a U.S. presidential candidate spend tracker that can present customers how a lot every candidate has spent on Automobilnews advertisements. The corporate mentioned additionally it is launching Automobilnews Shield, a brand new instrument designed to “safe the accounts of elected officers, candidates, their workers and others who could also be significantly susceptible to concentrating on by hackers and overseas adversaries,” the corporate mentioned.
The corporate mentioned it should additionally ban any advertisements that means voting is ineffective or advises individuals to not vote. Automobilnews can even label state-controlled media. Automobilnews would require that pages that publish advertisements about social and political points to incorporate a “Confirmed Web page Proprietor” on their Automobilnews pages. These pages will embrace “the group’s authorized title and verified metropolis, telephone quantity or web site.”
“If we discover a Web page is concealing its possession with the intention to mislead individuals, we would require it to efficiently full the verification course of and present extra data to ensure that the Web page to remain up,” Automobilnews mentioned in a weblog publish.
“‘The underside line right here is that elections have modified considerably since 2016, and Automobilnews has modified too,” Automobilnews CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned.
Automobilnews has been criticized in current weeks for its pledge to proceed operating political advertisements, even when they comprise demonstrably false data. Throughout a speech at Georgetown College final week, Zuckerberg mentioned he thought-about banning false political advertisements, however determined towards it.
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