Facebook will come with stronger preventive measures to counter fake news on its platform in Australia and will avoid selling political advertisement to foreigners before the national election scheduled to be held in few weeks, the social media giant said on Friday.
The move came joining the Facebook with its peers around the world, who all are facing rising pressure to free their platforms of fake news or misinformation, a pressure that grew after news surfaced that Russia had apparently influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential election using the platform of Facebook.
Though it is not clear that if there were any then which of the foreigners have tried to buy the campaign ads in Australia, but previously in 2017, Australian government had warned the interference attempts by Chinese and also in February, the government said that computer network of parliament was hacked by a foreign government.
Facebook’s current move in Australia also came in the midst of greater scrutiny being faced by its socially influential and market dominating business, especially after the mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand, an incident that was live broadcasted on one of the platforms of a U.S. firm.
Australia will find out the polling date within the coming week, and Facebook’s new controls on country’s political advertising will become effective till then, said the company.
Buying of such advertisement which would be bearing logos, slogans or mentioning political parties will not be allowed to the foreigners, Mia Garlick, Facebook’s director of policy for Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement.
Facebook will not only be collaborating with a French news agency Agence France-Presse by launching a fact checking service in Australia but will also be removing fake accounts and will make the sensational stories less prominent in user’s newsfeeds by taking necessary measures, she added.