Meta’s Facebook was unable to spot extensive misinformation in connection to the 2022 Brazil election
This week’s reports detail how Meta’s Facebook failed to detect widespread disinformation during the 2022 Brazilian election, which was spread primarily through paid advertisements. If a recent claim by Global Witness is to be believed, Facebook will continue to be unable to obtain materials that violate company regulations. According to reports, these advertisements spread false information about the next Brazilian election. There was a lot of false information about election dates, how to vote, the legitimacy of the election, and the country’s main political system.
This is the fourth time that a test by the London-based NGO has shown that the internet giant is unable to stop a blatant violation of the rules on its most popular social network. In the three other cases, the group had given over advertisements that featured violent hate speech. This was done primarily to see if the platform’s artificial intelligence (AI) or human viewing controls would spot them, which they obviously did not.
Senior advisor for Global Witness, Jon Lloyd, claims that Facebook is placing a “significant” amount of resources towards combating election-related disinformation in Brazil. Because of this, and despite having plenty of time to do something about it, the company decided to put Meta’s systems through their paces. On October 2, Brazil will have its election despite rising fears and disinformation that threaten to tarnish the process. Facebook, which has a huge following in the country, claimed it was completely ready for the next elections.
Meta explained how they developed resources to provide reliable news and record online discussions during the election. In addition, they claimed to be collaborating with national authorities and had set up a system through which the so-called “Superior Electoral Court” could transmit potentially dangerous content to the corporation for assessment. For political advertisements, Facebook required an approval process two years ago.
The London-based charity, however, claimed that Meta’s submission of unpublished test ads was a violation of their rules. In addition, the advertising agency didn’t use a Brazilian payment method, so they didn’t have to include a “paid for by” disclaimer. Facebook has maintained all along that the policies it has in place are designed to stop the spread of false information and other forms of abuse on its platform.