Leading up to the mid-term elections, the war room will operate 24 hours, 7 days of the week. The people in the room are supported by 20,000 Facebook employees across the globe, hired to work on safety and security. The teams include threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, legal, policy, communications, and representatives from WhatsApp and Instagram. The space is built to contain about 20 people and their computers. There are a bunch of dashboards backed up by artificial intelligence that would flag any problems seen.
Employees look out for voter suppression, such as falsely telling people that the lines are long or that election has been delayed. They also look out for suspicious spikes in spam and hate speech.
Facebook has been under intense scrutiny after it emerged that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 US presidential elections. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO promised to get ahead of it, hence the war room.
Last week, Facebook removed 559 pages and 251 accounts in the United States for using fake identities and for coordinating information campaigns.
With multiples elections taking place each year around the world, Facebook plans to keep the war room open for the foreseeable future, affirmed by Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global politics, and government outreach director. “This is going to be a constant arms race,” she said. “This is our new normal. Bad actors are going to get more sophisticated in what they’re doing, and we’re going to have to get more sophisticated in trying to catch them.”