Facebook collaborates with ECP to prevent abuse
KARACHI: Ahead of Pakistan’s elections, Facebook has ramped up its efforts to ensure they doing everything they can to prevent abuse, working in collaboration with the Election Commission of Pakistan to better understand and address the specific challenges faced here.
Facebook is increasing the number of people working on safety and security issues around the world to 20,000 people by the end of the year, as it employed dedicated teams working on all of the world’s upcoming elections – including Pakistan – to help detect and prevent malicious actors or abuse on Facebook.
We recognize the importance of working closely with local authorities to encourage civic participation in local elections. We have been working proactively with Election Commission of Pakistan to help support their effort to maintain the integrity of the election, the statement issued by Facebook said. Facebook has helped educate Election Commission officials on how our platform works with the goal of increasing transparency, improving security, and promoting civic engagement. We are also exploring new ways of working with the Election Commission of Pakistan to share a reminder about the ECP’s 8300 Voter SMS service, which is designed to give Pakistanis easy access to their voter record and polling station.
There are people who want to abuse the platform to harm the democratic process. This is something Facebook is absolutely committed to preventing, and is taking a number of steps to protect and preserve the integrity of the upcoming elections around the world. Pakistan is no exception.
We’re taking significant steps to bring more transparency to ads and Pages on Facebook. Anyone can now view active ads from Pages on Facebook. The feature will allow our community in Pakistan – and around the world – to see ads across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and our partner network, even if those ads aren’t shown to you. People can also learn more about Pages, even if they don’t advertise. For
We believe Facebook has an important part to play in creating an informed community, and helping people access all the information they need to take part in the democratic process.
Ahead of Election Day, we will serve the community with a vote reminder, which will appear as a megaphone at the top of their News Feed. In addition, we are also working to secure candidate and party Pages to protect them from hacking and impersonation, and will be sending out security emails to admins of such pages, as well as launching an election integrity website for candidates and parties in Pakistan. This website will offer tips and best practices in English and Urdu for politicians and political parties on how to engage their followers and keep their Facebook Pages and accounts safe.
Asad Baig, Executive Director at Media Matters for Democracy, said: “We’re committed to defending freedom of expression, media and the internet in Pakistan. With Facebook’s role in giving people in Pakistan a voice, the ability to connect and access to vital information, they are a natural and important partner as we look to ensure that Pakistanis have the opportunity to participate in free and fair elections.”
Arafat Mazhar, Director of ShehriPakistan added: “We’re excited to be working with Facebook to promote civic engagement and democracy in Pakistan. Preventing the spread of false news is a critical part of ensuring the integrity of our elections and we hope that, through this collaboration, we will make a positive step towards equipping Pakistanis with the tools they need to discern fact from fiction.”
Protecting elections from abuse on our platform is one of the most important things we’re working on at Facebook at the moment. We know there’s more to do, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that Facebook can play a positive and constructive role in Pakistan’s democratic process, both in 2018 and in the long-term.