What happens inside Facebook's “war room” where they are struggling with interference in elections. PHOTO, VIDEO - ForumDaily
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What's going on inside Facebook's 'war room' where election interference is being fought. PHOTO, VIDEO

Facebook allowed journalists from several American publications to the first “operational headquarters” (“war room”, war room), created to fight against interference in political processes through a social network. The unusual department consists of a 20 man and is located at the company's headquarters in California, writes TJournal.

Photo: Twitter parismartineau

None of the other large IT companies have created such a division, or in any case, have not yet shown it. For example, Twitter or YouTube do not have “military headquarters”, although they are also struggling with the consequences of interfering with American elections — for example, they delete suspicious accounts. However, Instagram and WhatsApp employees who belong to Facebook are represented in this headquarters.

“Our job is to detect anyone who tries to manipulate public opinion. Find and delete ”, - says Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Nathaniel Glacier, who previously worked for the White House.

Why did Facebook need such a headquarters?

Mark Zuckerberg wants to avoid repeating the situation around the 2016 presidential election of the year

Facebook has repeatedly been accused of misinformation and the spread of fake news. According to the company's internal data, during those elections “related to the interests of Russia”, the records saw 126 of millions of American voters. This is 40% of the population of the country. “We too late noticed Russian intervention and with all our strength we strive to become better,” Zuckerberg said before speaking at a congress.

Photo: Twitter parismartineau

November midnight US Elections to be held

Judging by the mood of Facebook, the company considers the current election campaign as one of the first serious checks after the scandal with the possible intervention of Russia in American politics.

Facebook continues to deal with many major scandals.

The last scandal occurred in Brazil, where the first round of general elections took place on October 7, and the second round of presidential rounds on October 28. Against this background, Brazilian media reported that local marketing companies purchased many SIM-cards and launched anti-American propaganda on WhatsApp, the country's most popular messenger.

What does the “military headquarters” of Facebook look like and what do its employees do

80 high-ranking employees of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are working in an area of ​​approximately 20 square meters. The “elite” unit is designed to ensure that disinformation does not affect the choice of voters.

Photo: Twitter parismartineau

In the war room hang flags of the USA and Brazil. There are no windows in it. In a room near 20 screens, which monitor the situation on the social network in real time. On some, they show news on CNN and Fox News, on others - Twitter feeds (mainly TweetDeck is used), on the third, Facebook trends and user behavior graphs. Since one of the topical issues is the election in Brazil, the names and photos of all the candidates hang on one of the walls.

Photo: Twitter parismartineau

For the time being, the “operational headquarters” is open from four in the morning until midnight, but after October 22 it will start working around the clock. Employees are divided into seven categories:

  • Developers who are responsible for dashboards. They show political content, “hate speech” (hate speech), user complaints about fake news and other anomalies;
  • Analytics experts. For example, if Facebook finds traces of interference, they understand what it is connected with and who is behind it;
  • Specialists who determine if Facebook’s internal rules have been violated. If yes, then they delete the accounts of the perpetrators and the corresponding content;
  • Lawyers checking Facebook entries for compliance with laws;
  • Experts in the field of cybersecurity, who have experience in “deciphering complex tactics” of various kinds of attacks on Facebook, including from the government;
  • Representatives from Instagram and WhatsApp, who share information with Facebook and monitor the situation in the applications;
  • Local experts. Since Facebook is now starting to work on “election defense” for 1,5-2 of the year before they are held, the company collects information about a particular country in advance. For example, about cultural norms or specific painful reactions of this or that people.

What else did the journalists who visited the “military headquarters” notice

Facebook invited American journalists to the “war room” at the same time, allowing the release of materials under the embargo - at the same time. After the tour, the correspondents as a whole were cautious about the innovation of the social network.

"It is not clear how effective this works," wrote The Guardian. “It would be great if everything worked exactly as Facebook promised to journalists,” said Wired.

TechCrunch call headquarters of the company "the first line of defense of democracy."

"Some screens cannot be photographed or published, and the names of the war room employees must be mentioned in the materials." The Guardian

“From the outside, Facebook's 'war room' appears to be one of the typical conference rooms at the company's headquarters. However, what is inside - open space, flags, clocks, television, posters, blue and white logo everywhere - indicates that this is not an ordinary conference room, ”writes CNET.

“This room is like the office of a Wall Street trading company, with screens on every wall and every table. And for 20 hours a day, and soon 24 hours, about two dozen geeks, bloodhounds, geeks, hackers and lawyers are stuck here trying to identify the next bad thing that happens on the social network, ”notes Wired.

“During a conversation with reporters, Facebook representatives did not give a satisfactory answer to the question of how exactly the headquarters is going to fight fake news and disinformation. Instead, the company pointed to minimal cosmetic changes. For example, adding a “Forwarded” button to indicate when the original source of the message is not the sender ”, noted Business Insider.

Gizmodo journalists, who this time did not visit the Facebook headquarters, in their own way assessed the journalists' trip to the "operational headquarters" of the company.

“Facebook's share price is dropping in large part because of the scandal in the last election, which the company really ******** [ruined]. Facebook wants to avoid even worse headlines and tries to look as transparent as possible. ”

“So this whole gang of journalists learned anything concrete about the operations in the“ war room ”? The “headquarters” may not be doing its job, but Facebook's PR people are definitely on fire, ”writes Gizmodo.

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