Meta project to protect integrity of upcoming polls

Meta official says company would also share details of active advertisements on political or social issues on its library

By Our Correspondent
September 28, 2023
A Meta logo can be seen in this picture placed near the Meta Headquarters in the US. — AFP/File)

ISLAMABAD: Meta on Wednesday shared its project to protect upcoming general elections’ integrity and support community safety in Pakistan under which free and fair elections would be supported but hate speech, misinformation and inciting violence-related posts would be removed.


The Social Media platform Meta will not be allowed to be used for providing fake information as they hired facts checks and all such posts will be removed. “We have launched this approach two years back and it was tested in some other countries in the past,” said Alice Budisatrijo, Head of Misinformation Policy for Meta, Asia Pacific, while briefing journalists here on Wednesday.

However, she did not mention those countries where the Meta had used such approach on occasion of general elections.

The Meta, she said, would also share details of active advertisements on political or social issues on its library. Meta shared updates on how it will help keep Pakistan’s communities safe and protect the integrity of the upcoming Pakistan’s general election through its approach, which includes forming an election operations team, developing stronger policies to address harmful content and networks, combating misinformation, increasing transparency for political ads and driving digital literacy and civic education programmes.

“Over the years, we have developed a comprehensive approach to how elections play out on our platforms. We continue to invest significantly on efforts and resources to connect people to reliable information about voting, while combating misinformation, hate speech, and voter interference. We are drawing on our global experiences and inputs from experts, as well as coordinating with local election bodies, to help preserve the integrity of elections around the world, including here in Pakistan,” said Alice Budisatrijo, Head of Misinformation Policy for Meta, Asia Pacific. For Pakistan’s upcoming general election, Meta has a dedicated election operations team comprising subject matter experts who are deeply familiar with the local country context to help monitor and respond to emerging risks in real time -- including Pakistani nationals who speak the local language. “We’re tackling abuse on several fronts, including fighting inauthentic behaviour, limiting the spread of misinformation, expanding our fact checking capability and increasing transparency around the ads people see on Facebook,” she added. Other initiatives from Meta to support the election integrity in Pakistan and its communities include voter education. She said, “Meta supported a digital civic education campaign in collaboration with the Election Commission of Pakistan, PakVoter and Shehri Pakistan, to promote information about voter rights and address key election-related digital literacy topics such as tackling misinformation, being respectful in your communication, and staying safe online. Third-party fact checking partnerships: We continue to work with AFP and Soch Fact Check in Pakistan who review and rate viral misinformation in English and Urdu.”