News & Opinion | August 17, 2018 10:15 am

Is Facebook’s Plan To Protect the U.S. Midterms Going to Work?

They are trying to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2016.

During a hastily scheduled conference call two weeks ago, Facebook executives told journalists that someone, maybe Russia, was trying to use the social network to once again “sow division” among U.S. voters, this time before November’s midterm elections. Facebook calls these people “bad actors,” and said they created bogus events, posted about race issues, fascism and President Donald Trump, and paid Facebook to promote their messages.

“Some of the activity is consistent with what we saw from the IRA before and after the 2016 elections,” Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy wrote in a blog post, referring to the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-backed online troll farm, according to Recode.

On one hand, it appears that Facebook’s safeguards to prevent another election interference campaign seemed to work, since they caught at least some of the bad guys before the election. But on the other hand, this is a sign that Facebook will once again be both a target and a weapon for people who want to divide American voters ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, writes Recode.