Skip to Content
Silicon Valley

Facebook beefs up its defense against election interference

September 13, 2018

Facebook has stepped up its efforts to defend against “bad actors” trying to meddle with US elections, Mark Zuckerberg said in a 3,260-word post on the site.

What did Facebook do? The social network built machine-learning systems that block “millions of fake accounts every day,” according to Zuckerberg, and removed one billion fake accounts from October to March. It has also doubled the number of people working on safety and security, from 10,000 last year to more than 20,000 this year.

Any specific examples? Facebook says it disrupted the work of Iranian and Russian state actors, as well as subverting misinformation campaigns in Brazil and Myanmar. Zuckerberg also says Facebook detected “coordinated inauthentic behavior” ahead of the US midterm elections in November, without elaborating.

But … Zuckerberg uses phrases like “bad actors” and “adversaries” without quite ever spelling out what he means. There's a risk these anti-hacking measures could catch legitimate governmental criticisms leveled at current regimes.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.