Kicking off Facebook’s F8 conference today, Mark Zuckerberg–after a few minutes of thanking developers and saying the company needs to move forward with its platform even in spite of the Cambridge Analytica scandal–kicked off his keynote by explaining the company’s plans to protect the integrity of elections in the United States and abroad.
He didn’t unveil any new initiatives, but did recap all the moves Facebook has made in recent months to address concerns that have arisen in the wake of the Russians using the company’s platform to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
“In 2016, we were slow to identify Russian election interference,” Zuckerberg said, reiterating what he’s said in many forums since that election meddling was discovered. “We didn’t expect these coordinated information operations.”
He then touted how Facebook had strengthened its systems in advance of national elections in France and Germany, and the U.S. Senate election in Alabama.
He also recapped moves the company has made to boost transparency in election ads–things like requiring anyone buying a political ad produce government identification to prove they are who they are, and requiring that political ads on Facebook have a higher degree of transparency than print, radio, or TV ads. That, of course, is meant to get in front of Congress’s proposed Honest Ads Act.
Zuckerberg also touted the oft-mentioned stat that Facebook plans on having 20,000 people working on security content review by the end of 2018–though the company has yet to explain how many of those people will be employees and how many will be contractors.
“This is an important election year,” Zuckerberg said, “and not only [because of] the U.S. midterms. There are elections in Mexico, Brazil, India, and Pakistan, and we are focused on this.”
Unfortunately, because he didn’t spell out any new measures we’ll have to wait to see if what Facebook has already announced will be enough to keep elections at home and across the world safe.