How Facebook Is Preparing for Myanmar’s 2020 Election
On November 8, Myanmar voters will go to the polls for the second democratic election in the country’s recent history. Beginning next week, political parties and candidates in the Southeast Asian nation will vie for the national and regional leadership in what is anticipated to be a hotly contested campaign complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as all elections are in 2020.
Despite the challenges that November presents, Facebook continues to focus on our responsibility to ensure the integrity of Myanmar’s election on our platform. This is why many teams at Facebook have worked over the past few years to better understand how our platform is used in Myanmar and how we can play a part in helping to prevent harm. This includes people who spend significant time on the ground working with civil society partners who are advocating on a range of human and digital rights issues across Myanmar’s diverse, multi-ethnic society.
Preventing Voter Suppression
Facebook has expanded our misinformation policy in Myanmar so that we will now remove misinformation that could lead to voter suppression or damage the integrity of the electoral process. Working with local partners, between now and 22 November, we will remove verifiable misinformation and unverifiable rumors that are assessed as having the potential to suppress the vote or damage the integrity of the electoral process.
Combating Hate Speech
We also recognize that there are certain types of content, such as hate speech, that could lead to imminent, offline harm but that could also suppress the vote. We have a clear and detailed policy against hate speech, and we remove violating content as soon as we become aware of it.
We also use AI to proactively identify hate speech in 45 languages, including Burmese.
Making It Easier to Understand Ads About Social Issues, Elections or Politics in Myanmar
We’re also introducing more transparency when it comes to issue, electoral and political ads, going far beyond the standard in print and broadcast media. All ads about social issues, elections or politics are also stored in our searchable Ad Library for seven years which include additional insights about them to help journalists, regulators, researchers, watchdog groups and others learn more about ads and help hold advertisers and Facebook accountable.
Making Pages More Transparent
To that end, we are working with two partners in Myanmar to verify the official national Facebook Pages of political parties. So far, more than 40 political parties have been given a verified badge. This provides a blue tick on the Facebook Page of a party and makes it easier for users to differentiate a real, official political party page from unofficial pages, which is important during an election campaign period.
Limiting the Spread of Misinformation
To provide people using the platform with additional context before they share images that are more than a year old and could be potentially harmful or misleading, we introduced an Image Context reshare product in Myanmar in June. With this product, users will be shown a message when they attempt to share specific types of images, including photos that are over a year old and that may come close to violating Facebook’s guidelines on violent content. We warn people that the image they are about to share could be harmful or misleading will be triggered using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and human review.
Messenger Forwarding Limits
We have also introduced a new feature that limits the number of times a message can be forwarded to five. This safety feature is available in Myanmar and, over the course of the next few weeks, we will be making it available to Messenger users worldwide.
Sep 09, 2020 at 20:19