Facebook Is Preparing for Myanmar’s 2020 Election

Published: September 3, 2020

Myanmar voters will go to the polls for the second democratic election in the country’s recent history on November 8 2020. So, the political parties and candidates in the Southeast Asian nation will vie for the national and regional leadership which is going to be a hotly contested campaign complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the challenges amid pandemic, Facebook continues to focus on their responsibility to ensure the integrity of Myanmar’s election on their platform. Facebook also recognize Myanmar’s complex social and political context and are sensitive to the tumultuous changes and the serious violence that took place since the country’s last election in 2015.

Steps taken by Facebook

  • Facebook has expanded misinformation policy in Myanmar so as to remove misinformation that could lead to voter suppression or damage the integrity of the electoral process.
  • There are certain types of content, such as hate speech, that could lead to imminent offline harm and suppress the vote.So Facebook has come up with clear and detailed policy against hate speech that will remove violating content as soon as they become aware of it.
  • Facebook is using artificial intelligence technology to proactively identify hate speech in 45 languages, including Burmese.
  • It has also introduced more transparency when it comes to issue, electoral and political ads, going far beyond the standard in print and broadcast media.
  • It is also working with two partners in Myanmar to verify the official national Facebook Pages of political parties.
  • It is limiting the Spread of Misinformation
  • It has launched a new feature that limits the number of times a message can be forwarded to five.
  • Facebook is working to find and stop coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate across the apps.

Since 2018, Facebook have identified and disrupted six networks engaging in Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior in Myanmar. These networks of accounts, Pages and Groups were masking their identities to mislead people about who they were and what they were doing by manipulating public discourse and misleading people about the origins of content.

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