Online world getting increasingly chaotic

September 09, 2019 11:39
Facebook and other social media platforms are preparing against a fresh onslaught of fake news as the US presidential election approaches. Photo: Reuters

Facebook announced last Thursday that it would extend its fact-checking cooperation with international news agency Agence France-Presse to Hong Kong.

AFP fact-checkers will help review posts from Hong Kong Facebook users, do the fact-checking and give accuracy rating. If a story is rated as false, it will appear lower in the news feed, meaning you’re less likely to see it or it may even be blocked.

At the same time, Twitter has suspended approximately 200,000 accounts believed to be tied to a campaign by the Chinese government against protesters in Hong Kong.

While social media are fighting fake news, ironically, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey’s own account was hijacked: hackers took over his account and tweeted racial comments against Jews and Africans.

Twitter blamed the loophole in the function to tweet via text message. Without an immediate solution, Twitter has to turn off this function for the time being.

Considering the increasingly chaotic online world, the US presidential election to be held in November next year could become the largest internet battleground even seen.

The Russian intelligence department was said to have set up a large number of fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Senior officials of Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and internet giants including Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft gathered at Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley on Wednesday to discuss cyber threats in the upcoming presidential election.

"Improving election security and countering information operations are complex challenges that no organization can solve alone," Facebook head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept 6

Translation by Julie Zhu 

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist