2.2m Facebook, Instagram ads rejected ahead of US vote



A total of 120,000 posts on Facebook and Instagram have been withdrawn for attempting to “obstruct voting” in the US presidential election and 2.2 million ads have been rejected, Facebook’s vice president Nick Clegg said in an interview published Sunday.
In addition, warnings were posted on 150 million examples of false information posted online, the former British deputy prime minister told the French weekly Journal du Dimanche.
Facebook has been increasing its efforts to avoid a repeat of events leading up to the 2016 US election, won by Donald Trump, when its network was used for attempts at voter manipulation, carried out from Russia. There were similar problems ahead of Britain’s 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union.
“Thirty-five thousand employees take care of the security of our platforms and contribute for elections,” said Clegg, who is vice president of global affairs and communications at Facebook.
“We have established partnerships with 70 specialised media, including five in France, on the verification of information,” he was quoted as saying in the newspaper.
Ireland’s data protection agency is investigating Instagram following concerns over how the image-sharing social platform handled children’s personal data, according to media reports.
. The Data Protection Commission (DPC) received complaints that the US firm — owned by Facebook — had allowed the phone numbers and email addresses of under 18 year olds to remain public, British newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.
Following the complaints the DPC, the European Union’s main data privacy regulator, reportedly launched two separate inquiries last month. Neither Facebook nor the DPC immediately responded to AFP’s request for comment.
Data scientist David Stier found that when Instagram accounts switched from a personal to a business setting users’ email addresses and phone numbers became public, the Telegraph reported. Business profiles allow users to see how many people are viewing their profiles and images.
Anyone can set up such an account, with the social platform currently not requiring proof the person is actually running a company.
Until recently Instagram also required all business users to publicly list a phone number or email address.
Instagram’s minimum age for an account is 13. According to media reports, the DPC investigations will firstly examine whether the app has the necessary safeguards to securely process users’ data, particularly in regard to child users.
The Data Protection Commission will also look at whether Instagram is following the Irish regulator’s data protection rules over its profile and account settings.—APP

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