Facebook's AI helps block or remove 1 million accounts each day

Social networking giant is gearing up for upcoming elections in India.

Queenie Wong Former Senior Writer
Queenie Wong was a senior writer for CNET News, focusing on social media companies including Facebook's parent company Meta, Twitter and TikTok. Before joining CNET, she worked for The Mercury News in San Jose and the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. A native of Southern California, she took her first journalism class in middle school.
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Queenie Wong
2 min read

Facebook is using AI to identify accounts spreading misinformation.

James Martin/CNET

Facebook is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to block or remove one million accounts a day that violate its rules against misinformation, hate speech and voter suppression ahead of elections in India.

Ajit Mohan, Facebook's India managing director and vice president, outlined the social network's efforts to combat election interference in a blog post on Monday. The social network has faced criticism for not doing enough to curb abuses on its platform during the 2016 US presidential election when Russian trolls used Facebook to sow discord. 

Facebook-owned WhatsApp, a messaging app that is popular in India, has also been used to spread misinformation during elections in other countries such as Brazil. While it's unclear how well Facebook's election integrity efforts are working, the company is trying to show the public and lawmakers it's doing more to tackle abuse on its platform.

Advances in AI has helped the world's largest social network "identify abusive or violating content, quickly locate it across the platform and remove it in bulk," Mohan said. That helps stop the offensive content from going viral. 

Facebook started planning for elections in India, which begins on April 11, more than 18 months ago. The company requires advertisers who run political ads in India to verify their identity and location. Information about who paid for an ad and the audience it reached is available in a public database. This week, this company is also opening up centers focused on election integrity in Singapore and Dublin and expanded its partnership with third-party fact checkers to combat fake news. 

The company also recently launched tools in India to help voters learn about new candidates and share with their friends that they voted.

Last week, Facebook said it pulled down more than 680 accounts in India and Pakistan for "inauthentic behavior," which means the people behind the accounts misled users about their identities and intentions.