In its efforts to stop the proliferation of fake news on Facebook, the company will now ascertain the identity of people who own and run popular pages.
The company will audit all “large” pages and any page that fails to clear the identification process would not be allowed to make further postings, said chief executive of the company Mark Zuckerberg.
The measure would allow the company to stop users running pages under fake accounts and force them to reveal their actual identity.
He backed proposed political ads regulation, Zuckerberg said.
That would need the technology companies to acquire more information of those advertisements.
“Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform,” he wrote.
“And that’s why we support the Honest Ads Act. This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online.”
The process funding of “issue-based” political ads would also be made more transparent by Facebook, the company also announced.
“These steps by themselves won’t stop all people trying to game the system,” Zuckerberg said.
“But they will make it a lot harder for anyone to do what the Russians did during the 2016 election and use fake accounts and pages to run ads.”
A physical mailing address and a ID issued by the U.S. government would be asked by those who want to place political ads. Before such advertisements are run, the individual would have to input a code that would be sent to the physical mailing address.
These measures would help the company to effectively counter some of the strategies that are put to use apparently by the Internet Research Agency which is a Russian “troll farm” which was allegedly involved in the manipulation of Facebook to influence American voters.
One of the most successful strategies reportedly used by the organization was to create Facebook pages that seemed to be run and operated by passionate US-based campaigners. There have been incidents that have resulted in American people getting down on the streets for protests because of encouragement from such fake pages.
While Facebook is yet to come to a conclusion on what would constitute a large page, the company has said that such parameters would include more than a large number of followers of the page.
It will also be ascertained whether there has been a change of name for the page. According to reports form analysis, innocuous titles were made use of by Russian trolls to initially attract followers only to change the nature of the page later on that ultimately promotes a political view.
(Adapted from BBC.com)