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NGO says Facebook didn’t detect misinformation in Brazilian election ads

Significantly less than 8 weeks before Brazils 2022 election, a written report from international NGO Global Witness found Facebook parent company Meta appallingly didn’t detect false political ads. The business tested Facebooks capability to catch election-related misinformation by submitting 10 ads.

Five of the advertisements featured blatantly false information regarding the election. For example, some mentioned the incorrect election date and methods citizens might use to cast their votes. Another five ads sought to discredit Brazils electoral process, like the electronic voting system the united states has used since 1996. Of the 10 ads, Facebook only rejected one initially but later approved it without the further action from Global Witness.

Along with their content, the ads had other warning flag Global Witness contends Meta must have caught. To start out, the non-profit didn’t verify the account it used to submit the advertisements through the companys ad authorizations process. It is a safeguard that Meta has set up to avoid election interference, but we were easily in a position to bypass this, Global Witness said.

Additionally, the business submitted the ads from London and Nairobi. In doing this, it didn’t need to work with a VPN or local payment system to mask its identity. Moreover, the ads didn’t feature a covered by disclaimer, which Meta notes all social issue advertisements in Brazil must include by June 22, 2022.

Whats quite clear from the outcomes of the investigation among others is that their content moderation capabilities and the integrity systems they deploy to be able to mitigate a few of the risk during election periods, its not working, Jon Lloyd, senior advisor at Global Witness, told The Associated Press.

Meta didn’t immediately react to Engadgets obtain comment. A Meta spokesperson told The Associated Press it has prepared extensively for Brazils upcoming election. Weve launched tools that promote reliable information and label election-related posts, established a primary channel for the Superior Electoral Court (Brazils electoral authority) to send us potentially-harmful content for review, and continue closely collaborating with Brazilian authorities and researchers, the business said.

This isnt the very first time Global Witness has found Facebooks election safeguards wanting. Earlier this season, the non-profit conducted an identical investigation before Kenyas recent election and reached most of the same conclusions. Then, as now, Global Witness called on Meta to strengthen and increase its content moderation and integrity systems.

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