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Pakistan

Curbing misinformation, Facebook launches new feature in Pakistan

  • Users in Pakistan 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.
02 Sep 2020

In order to curb the spread of misinformation in Pakistan, Facebook has launched a new product for the country, which will provide people using the platform with additional context before they share images that are more than a year old and that could be potentially harmful or misleading.

"We're empowering people to detect misleading content by giving them more context so that they can decide for themselves whether to share the images or not," a Facebook company spokesperson.

Users in Pakistan 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. Interstitials warning users that the image they are about to share could be harmful or misleading will be triggered using a combination of artificial intelligence and human review.

Photo and video-based misinformation has become an increasing challenge around the world and is something that the teams at Facebook have been focused on addressing.

This new, out of context images product launch is part of Facebook’s three-pronged approach to prevent the spread of misinformation: ‘Remove, Reduce, Inform’.

Facebook removes content that violates its Community Standards and it also reduces the distribution of false news when it’s marked as false by third-party fact-checking partners. This reduces the visibility of this kind of news by up to 80 percent.

Facebook removes network of accounts operated from Pakistan

The social media platform removed 453 Facebook accounts, 103 Pages, 78 Groups and 107 Instagram accounts operated from Pakistan and focused on Pakistan and India. “We found this network as part of our internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region,” said Facebook in its August 2020 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report.

“The people behind this network relied on fake accounts — some claiming to be based in India — to post content and manage a handful of Indian military fan Pages and Groups. The vast majority of the accounts, Pages and Groups engaged in coordinated reporting of content and people that were critical of Pakistan’s government or supportive of India, and some engaged in spam. They also used a browser extension to automate reporting. They posted primarily in English and Hindi about regional news and current events including memes and content about social and political issues in Pakistan and India, such as India’s policies toward China, the Indian military, criticism of the Indian government and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic,” it said.