If Facebook does what it says, the snazziest company in the digital universe could use the oldest mailing systems in modern history to keep the US elections from foreign interference. Katie Harbath, the director of government outreach and global politics, told a gathering of National Association of Secretaries of State that the company will dispatch postcards to a number of purchasers of political advertisement buyers to make sure all of them are US residents.
Putting up barriers
Facebook declined to elaborate on how the new verification by physical postcard will stop any foreign agent from setting up any local mailing address. They may also hire individuals within the United States to bypass Facebook security. According to Facebook, these steps are simply one pie of a much bigger effort to solve foreign electoral influence in Social Media platforms.
The process is fairly straightforward. The recipient, who is the buyer, should type in a code if he or she wants to buy the ad. This method, according to Harbath, will be first applied to advertisements which name candidates before the upcoming midterm elections. This specific plan was introduced after Robert Mueller, a special counsel, charged a total of 13 Russians for interfering in the US Presidential election. The indictment laid out in detail how Russian agents swiped information like Social Security Numbers from actual US citizens. These data were then utilized to generate PayPal and bank accounts. The latter two were then used to purchase online ads. The document also states how agents recruited US citizens to do things like holding up signs at a number of rallies so that content can be created for Social Media posts.
Efforts taken by Facebook principally centers around the verification of people to see if they actually are as they claim to be. It has already wheeled out a system in Canada to catch dishonest ad buyers. The new system will permit people to examine which ads are being purchased by Facebook page, like a candidate, even though the person verifying the ad may not be in that group where the ad is intended to be exhibited.
According to Facebook, it detected and also removed thousands of fake Facebook pages prior to the start of British, French, and German elections in 2017. These were done by employing better machine learning methods. The company has indicated that it will increase its employee numbers in its security team to touch 20,000 in 2018.