There have been countless reports about how Facebook ads might have been used by the Russians to influence voters in the 2016 presidential election. Many have called on the world’s largest social network to do more in order to deter something like that from happening again. Facebook has now said that it’s going to hire 1,000 people to review ads in order to make sure that they meet its terms of service.
Facebook recently revealed that it had discovered an influence operation that was likely run by the Russians. Over $100,000 were spent on politically divisive ads over a two-year period ending in May.
The bulk of the ads promoted 470 “inauthentic” accounts and pages, according to Facebook, which were suspended after its investigation ended. The ads were used to spread divisive views on highly debatable topics such as immigration and race.
It added that no link was found to any presidential campaign and that three-fourth of the ads were targeted nationally instead of being specifically targeted towards swing-states.
Following its disclosure, Facebook was called upon to do more in order to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again. One of the steps that Facebook is going to take to prevent this is to hire over 1,000 people over the next year to review ads. It’s also going to invest more resources in software to flag and take down such ads automatically.
“Reviewing ads means assessing not just the content of an ad, but the context in which it was bought and the intended audience – so we’re changing our ads review system to pay more attention to these signals,” it added.