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Facebook Adds New Measures to Stop Political Interference, and Improve Participation, Ahead of US Midterms

September 19, 2018 / Andrew Hutchinson

As has been well-publicized in recent months, Facebook, at 2.2 billion users, has become a weapon for political propaganda. There are various elements to this. The first consideration, as noted, reaches - political activist groups know that they can get their messaging in front of the largest concentration of people possible via Facebook and that they can target specific users with messaging designed to appeal to their leanings. But more than that, Facebook's News Feed algorithm actually lends itself to divisive political debate. Because the algorithm favors content that sparks on-platform engagement - back and forth discussion within comment streams on posts - politically motivated groups have found that you can use that poke at people's specific fears, and potentially influence their voting decisions by amplifying concerns.