SINGAPORE (Jan 29): Facebook says it plans to set up two new regional operations centres, focused on election integrity, at its offices in Singapore and Dublin to allow its global teams to better work across regions in the run-up to global elections in 2019.

In a Jan 28 Facebook Newsroom post, the tech giant says it expects the new centres to further strengthen the co-ordination and response time between staff in Menlo Park and the US as they “add a layer of defense against fake news, hate speech and voter suppression”.

These teams will also work cross-functionally with the company’s threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, community operations, legal and other teams.

The move comes as part of Facebook’s efforts to fight misinformation ahead of major elections such as in the European Union (EU), Nigeria, Ukraine, India and Indonesia later this year.

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Other tactics which the company intends to focus on includes expanding political advertising transparency policies; growing its capacity to address misinformation and “fake news”, including expanding its third-party fact-checking program; and launching new tools in March 2019 to help prevent foreign interference in the upcoming EU elections.

Facebook says it now has 30,000 people working on such safety and security measures across the company worldwide, which is thrice as many as it had in 2017.

The firm adds that it has also improved its machine-learning capabilities, enabling higher efficiency and effectiveness in finding and removing violating behaviour.

“While these efforts represent an improvement over the past few years, we know that improving security is never finished… We will never stop all the bad actors, but we’re making real progress and we are committed to continuing to improve,” concluded the company in its post.