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Facebook Boosts Protections for Political Candidates

Facebook this week revealed new tools that are aimed to defend users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Facebook this week revealed new tools that are aimed to defend users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The social platform, which has taken various steps towards protecting elections from abuse and exploitation on its platform, including the takedown of fake pages and accounts involved in political influence campaigns, is now launching new tools to defend candidates and campaign staff.

Both hackers and foreign adversaries might be particularly interested in targeting Facebook users who are associated with political campaigns, Facebook says.

The social network already has in place a series of security tools and procedures to stay ahead of bad actors who attempt to use Facebook to disrupt elections, and a newly announced pilot program is meant to complement those.

The new pilot program is open for candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as for staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, Facebook announced. The additional security protections can be added both to Pages and to accounts.

To apply for the program, Page admins should head to politics.fb.com/campaignsecurity. Once enrolled, they will be able to add others from their campaign or committee.

“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Facebook says.

The program, the social platform claims, can help it detect any targeting that does happen, while also allowing candidates to quickly report such abuses. Once an attack against one campaign official has been detected, the platform can review and protect other enrolled accounts that are affiliated with that same campaign.

Facebook also says it shares relevant information with law enforcement and other companies to increase effectiveness. Additionally, the social network is assessing how the pilot program and other security tools “might be expanded to future elections and other users, such as government officials.”

“Although this is a pilot program, it’s one of several steps we’re taking ahead of the US midterm elections to better secure Facebook, including detecting and removing fake accounts, working to prevent the spread of false news, and setting a new standard for political and issue ads transparency,” the platform concludes.

Related: Facebook Uncovers Political Influence Campaign Ahead of Midterms

Related: Facebook Details Election Security Improvements

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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