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Facebook launches global hiring spree to crack down on election interference

Facebook is hiring a raft of new staff tasked with tackling election interference, as it prepares for a series of votes across Asia, Europe and Africa in 2019.

The embattled social media giant is currently advertising for a dozen policy roles specifically focused on elections, with the new recruits to be based in London and New Delhi, among other locations.

A job description for a public policy manager focused on “EMEA elections” says the successful candidate will be responsible for “development, management and execution of the strategy for elections in multiple countries”, as well as identifying “potential election integrity issues and [developing] solutions to solve them”.

The hiring spree comes after the company set up a “war room” in its Silicon Valley headquarters in September to stem the tide of fake news on its platforms.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but its CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed last year he was planning to more than double the number of people working on election integrity issues.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you we’re going to catch all bad content in our system,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “We don’t check what people say before they say it, and frankly, I don’t think our society should want us to. […] We won’t catch everyone immediately, but we can make it harder to try to interfere.”

Facebook came under fire last month for the role its messaging service WhatsApp allegedly played in spreading fake news in this year’s Brazilian presidential election, which saw Jair Bolsonaro – a far-right populist – sweep to victory. The company will be hoping that three new policy hires in New Delhi will help it to preempt similar activity in the lead up to the Indian general election next year.