Facebook Preps For US Election Chaos With Tools For ‘At-Risk’ Nations

The Grind:
Facebook could try to tamp down on election-related chaos in the US by using safeguards it built for “at-risk” countries, a new report says.

The social network will have the tools ready in case violence or other civil unrest erupts in the wake of Election Day next week as CEO Mark Zuckerberg has anticipated, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The Details:
The measures potentially at play include broadly slowing the spread of posts that begin to go viral, changing the types of content users see in their news feeds, and lowering the bar for the kinds of posts that its software identifies as dangerous, according to the paper.

Facebook has previously deployed these tools in countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar, where the tech titan’s failures to tamp down on viral misinformation were blamed for real-world violence against Muslims, the Journal reports.

The safeguards could prove a double-edged sword in the US, according to the outlet – they would likely limit Americans’ exposure to sensational content and calls to violence but also potentially limit legitimate political dialogue, which reportedly has some Facebook staffers concerned. Read more…

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