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Facebook announces civil rights task prior to 2020 US elections

Facebook to launch pre- civil rights task for upcoming US presidential elections in 2020

India TV Tech Desk India TV Tech Desk
San Francisco Updated on: July 02, 2019 14:01 IST
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Facebook to launch pre- civil rights task for upcoming US presidential elections in 2020

With the upcoming United States of America presidential elections in November 2020. The social networking giant Facebook has announced for a civil rights task force to combat the political interference in the '20 census and presidential campaign.

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In a blog post, on Sunday, The Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg said: "We will work with voting rights experts to make sure key members of our election team are trained on trends in voter intimidation and suppression so they can remove this content from Facebook more effectively."

"With both the US Census and the US presidential elections, 2020 will be big year. An accurate census count is crucial to governments for functions like distributing federal funds and to businesses and researchers."

"That's why we're going to treat next year's census like an election -- with people, policies and technology in place to protect against census interference, we're also introducing civil rights training for all senior leaders on the task force and key employees who work in the early stages of developing relevant products and policies."

"The report recommends we go further to include content that supports white nationalist ideology even if the terms 'white nationalism' and 'white separatism' aren't explicitly used. We're addressing this by identifying hate slogans and symbols connected to white nationalism and white separatism to better enforce our policy."

"As a result of the settlement, we're rolling out updates so anyone who wants to run US housing, employment and credit ads will no longer be allowed to target by age, gender or zip code and will have a much smaller set of targeting categories overall."

"We expect to finalize a new policy and its enforcement before the 2019 gubernatorial elections. This is a direct response to the types of ads we saw on Facebook in 2016."

The announcement came in the wake of a leading civil rights expert Laura Murphy releasing her second interim report in a multi-year audit of Facebook.

Murphy began leading an audit more than a year ago with support from the noted civil rights law firm Relman, Dane and Colfax. She spoke to more than 90 civil rights organizations and people from Facebook's policy, product and enforcement teams.

The social networking giant C.O.O also mentioned that the company, has a team across product, engineering, data science, policy, legal and operations dedicated full time to these efforts.

(With IANS inputs)

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