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Facebook execs outline steps to avoid election interference

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Facebook execs outline steps to avoid election interference

Facebook Inc. executives outlined a series of steps to deal with fake news and tackle issues such as 2016 U.S. election interference.

Samidh Chakrabarti, product manager at Facebook, said the company is blocking millions of fake accounts each day and is using an investigative tool that it can deploy before the next election to look for election-related activity that is suspicious and remove it from the platform, according to a March 29 company filing.

Also, the social networking giant has 20,000 people working on safety issues. The group includes content reviewers, systems engineers and security experts.

Tessa Lyons, Facebook product manager on News Feed, who focuses on false news, said the company is ramping up its fact-checking efforts to tackle false news around the elections. Facebook has a partnership with The Associated Press to use their reporters to identify and debunk false and misleading stories related to the federal, state and local U.S. midterm elections.

Facebook also has fact-checking partners in six countries and is looking to expand the program to more countries. Facebook is also fact-checking photos and videos. On the company's efforts to provide transparency, Product Management Director Rob Leathern said the company is developing its own ads review process to authorize U.S. advertisers placing political ads.

According to a recent report, Facebook is cutting ties with third-party data brokers that advertisers tap to target ads on the platform, in a bid to improve the privacy of its users' data. The social networking giant's latest move came after it drew flak over the alleged misuse of its user data by London-based political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica LLC and other third parties.

Facebook founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that his company made mistakes regarding user privacy and outlined the steps it plans to take to restore users' trust. He will reportedly be testifying in the coming weeks on the matter.

The company recently introduced changes to make it easier for users to find privacy controls.