WPRI 12 News Washington DC Bureau

Social media platforms combating misinformation ahead of presidential election

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ With only a couple of months to go before the presidential election, Facebook says the Russians are once again spreading misinformation on the social media platform.

The tech giant says it removed a network of accounts linked to a Russian troll farm that is spreading misinformation specifically targeting left-leaning voters.

To help crack down, Facebook announced that it would ban new political advertisements from its platform in the week before the November election.

Lawmakers are expressing concerns over the misinformation, arguing that it could have an impact on voters nationwide.

“We’ve got to have our guard up extremely high,” Rep. John Katko, R-New York, said. “No question that the threats are going to continue ─ the question is, how good are we going to be at detecting them and thwarting them?”

Carl Szabo with NetChoice says that’s just one of the steps major social media platforms are taking to combat misinformation.

“They’re actually not prohibiting all ads or political ads in the last week. What they’re doing is, they’re saying you cannot have new political ads appearing,” Szabo said. “Within six months alone, they’ve taken action on over 3 billion fake accounts and bots and have taken them down.”

Szabo says Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are attempting to clean up their platforms for the sake of consumers and the election.

“We just need to be vigilant, we need to be aggressive,” he said.

Katko says besides misinformation, the nation’s election systems are secure.

“You can have confidence that your vote is going to count,” Katko said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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