Breitbart News previously reported that Facebook had set up a “war room” to prepare for the upcoming midterm elections, now the mainstream media has been given an inside look at the company’s command center for controlling information ahead of the election.
Breitbart News previously reported that Facebook was developing a “war room” ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. Facebook’s Product Manager of Civic Engagement, Samidh Chakrabarti, said in an interview that the war room is a “physical” room which will be used to “take quick and decisive action” against possible cases of foreign interference during the midterm elections.
“We have many measures that we’ve put in place to try to prevent problems: the political ad transparency, blocking fake accounts, combating foreign interference, and preventing the spread of misinformation. But we know we have to be ready for anything that happens,” stated Chakrabarti. “And so that’s why we’ve been building this war room, a physical war room [with] people across the company, of all different disciplines, who are there. So, as we discover problems that may come up in the hours leading up to the election, we can take quick and decisive action.”
Now, CNN has been given access to the Facebook War Room, providing an insight into how the company is preparing for the next round of elections. CNN reports:
The company says it has hired thousands of new moderators, invested in artificial intelligence, enlisted the help of former US intelligence officials, and brought in new rules for political advertising — all in an effort to tackle a misinformation crisis.
Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s director of elections and head of civic engagement, told CNN that the war room was “really the culmination of two years of massive investments we’ve made both in people and technology to ensure that our platforms are safe and secure for elections. So it builds upon work that we’ve done to crack down on fake accounts, on combating the spread of fake news on our platforms.”
According to Chakrabarti, a “chain of command” has been developed at Facebook to report issues relating to the election which goes all the way up to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg:
In most cases the company’s moderators and team leaders make decisions about content that may violate the platform’s policy, Chakrabarti said. However, if an issue arises that is “particularly nuanced,” it may be considered by the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.
“We’ve established a chain of command all the way up to Mark and Sheryl to be able to weigh in on the most consequential things,” he said.
The AFP also published a video showing the inner workings of the Facebook War Room:
VIDEO: In Facebook's "War Room," a nondescript space adorned with American and Brazilian flags, a team of 20 people monitors computer screens for signs of suspicious activity pic.twitter.com/cfuFl6wAUa
— AFP news agency (@AFP) October 18, 2018
It would appear that Facebook is taking controlling information seriously following Sandberg and Zuckerberg’s appearances before Congress to discuss election interference and the security of their platform, but given the recent number of security issues and bugs that the site has faced, the company will have to work hard to avoid any future issues.