Facebook’s EU elections operation centre based in Dublin

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Facebook EU elections

The centre is part of Facebook's effort to combat misinformation, foreign interference and coordinated inauthentic behaviour on its platforms

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8 May 2019 | 0

In the run up to this month’s local and European elections and divorce referendum, Facebook’s Dublin centre will attempt to tackle misinformation, foreign interference and coordinated inauthentic behavior. Similar centres have previously been set up in the United States, Brazil and India in an effort to prevent wide-scale election influencing campaigns.

With specialists from all 28 EU countries, covering all the 24 offical EU languages, the centre consists of roughly 40 teams concentrated in a range of areas including: threat intelligence, data science, software engineering, research, operations, legal, policy and communications. Their Dublin based global operations team will provide language support and country experts will consult on colloquialisms and culture.

In maintaining a vigilant watch for platform abuse, Facebook has staff analysing sources around the clock. They have also partnered with 21 fact-checking organisations including TheJornal.ie and FactCheckNI.

The teams monitor both external and internal information sources. Not only do they analyse international and local news coverage, but by using CrowdTangle, they can follow what is posted on social media in real time to see what hashtags are trending and to track trends by certain locations or campaigns. They also monitor internal channels and dashboards for anomalies. Signs they look out for include: a group or page going viral, spikes in hate speech or spam, or activity that differs hugely to previous trends.  

Facebook carried out scenario-planning to prepare the operations centre teams in addressing an array of potential issues.

The teams are supported by an additional 500 people, who work for Facebook full-time on election issues and a further 30,000, who deal with safety and security issues.

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