Foreign meddling seen in 2016 US election "cannot happen again" vows Facebook VP

17 June 2020, 15:53

By Seán Hickey

Nick Clegg explained the measures the social media giant has taken to avoid interference and fake news in elections.

"As a company you need to change, as things went wrong in the 2016 election" Nick Ferrari told Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister and current Head of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook. He wanted to know what the online giant has done to avoid this happening again.

Mr Clegg acknowledged that "it appeared, and many people were unaware at the time, there was organised Russian interference in the US elections in 2016.

"No one really knows to what extent that influenced voter behaviour but it certainly was serious enough and it took place on facebook to lead to, certainly in the case of Facebook because it's a very important platform for political debate to very very significant changes." He then told Nick the measures the company have taken in recent years.

"The company now employs around 35,000 people to sort of protect elections around the world, there have been 200 elections around the world since 2017 which Facebook has been working on to make sure that they go off without any untoward incident."

There had been alleged foreign meddling in the 2016 US election
There had been alleged foreign meddling in the 2016 US election. Picture: PA

Mr Clegg told listeners that "millions of fake accounts are blocked every day" in an effort to avoid misinformation on the platform.

He added that there has been work to "really drive up the number of people in the United States who vote, register to vote, participate to vote"

In terms of allowing political ads on the platform going forward, the former leader of the Lib Dems told Nick that Facebook now work to see "who is conveying which message, who's paying for it and they all have to be authorised" for anything to be seen by the public.

He added that they "make sure that foreign interference which happened in 2016 cannot happen again" revealing that "last year there were 50 of these very very sophisticated networks identified compared to only one in 2017."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Katharine Birbalsingh insisted strict uniform codes are needed

Social mobility tsar: Pupils will bring knives to school if you don't enforce uniform code

The distraught caller was speaking to Nick Ferrari

'I can't afford my heating': Caller bursts into tears as cost of living crisis laid bare

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng spoke to LBC this morning

'Less than half my office is back at work': Business Sec Kwasi Kwarteng reveals in WFH row

Rachel Reeves spoke to Nick Ferrari this morning

Shadow Chancellor: Tax North Sea gas firms to help struggling families

Lord Stuart Rose, chairman of Asda, has welcomed the return to the office.

'Hallelujah': New Asda Chairman Lord Rose hails WFH end and says 'forget about Covid'

Nick Ferrari hit out at the former Tory MP

Nick Ferrari: It is shameful that Christian Wakeford defected to Labour with no by-election

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said Gary Neville "brings life to politics".

'He brings life to politics': Andy Burnham welcomes Gary Neville to the Labour team

Andy Burnham has said he cannot see how the Prime Minister can survive the partygate scandal.

Isn’t it time to go Boris? Andy Burnham tells LBC ‘I don’t see how the PM can survive’

Call Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham | Watch LIVE from 9am

Call Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham | Watch Again

James Heappey has said he is giving the PM the benefit of the doubt.

Boris 'deserves the benefit of the doubt' over partygate scandal, minister insists

Mr Heappey said Prince Andrew had been 'moved from public view'

Prince Andrew's Epstein and Maxwell links ‘horrifically ill-advised,' minister tells LBC

Nick Ferrari asked the question of Dominic Raab

'Who should my listeners believe on partygate? The PM or Dominic Cummings?'

Dominic Raab said Insulate Britain's actions are not "normal, peaceful protest, but sabotage"

Eco-mob protests are sabotage, Raab says as Govt pushes ahead with protest crackdown

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

'T-levels, not Tory Leader': Nadhim Zahawi explains TL lapel badge

Nadhim Zahawi has called on Sir Keir Starmer to apologise

'Boris said sorry, Keir should too': Zahawi blasts Labour leader over partygate

No10 has apologised to Buckingham Palace

No10 says sorry to the Queen after lockdown-breaking party night before Philip's funeral