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

17 June 2020, 15:53

Nick Clegg: How Facebook are stopping foreign interference in election

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

Dame Esther Rantzen has told LBC why she is campaigning to change the law on assisted dying

‘Dogs get treated better than humans’, Esther Rantzen says, as TV legend demands assisted dying law change

Rishi Sunak (l) puts on a brave face to the Tories by-election defeats on a visit to Harlow. New Kingswood MP Damien Egan (top r) and Wellingborough MP Gem Kitchen (bottom r)

Rishi Sunak begs frustrated Tories 'not to put Starmer in power' after party suffers double by-election disaster

New Labour MPs Damien Egan and Gen Kitchen

'They are not very good results': Tory chairman admits after double by-election drubbings as MPs call for tax cuts

The peer was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'It was known yesterday' Azhar Ali had made more Israel conspiracy theory comments, peer tells LBC

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, a senior anti-fraud officer has said.

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, senior anti-fraud officer tells LBC

The vessel is due to lead the largest Nato exercise since the Cold War, involving more than 40 vessels, after its sister ship was forced to cancel its deployment because of an 'issue' with its propeller shaft.

HMS Prince of Wales docked while it should be 'defending our interests abroad', Minister brands it 'not acceptable'

Lord Rose took aim at government quangos in the wake of the Post Office scandal

'They grow like multi-headed hydras': Asda chairman takes aim at government quangos after Post Office scandal

Exclusive
Lord Stuart Rose speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Police 'not picking up the phone' to attend shoplifting 'endemic', Lord Stuart Rose tells LBC

Dentists who set up practice in areas of England with poor access to NHS care will be offered a £20,000 bonus

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stumped on exact figure for new dentists as ministers plan £20,000 ‘golden hello’

When asked by Nick to sum up the Government in one word, Ms Keegan said: "Delivering."

Gillian Keegan rates the Government using Ofsted descriptions - and it's not 'Outstanding'

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules', the Housing Minister told LBC

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules'

Iceland CEO on his support for Labour after defecting from the Tories.

'The Tories have failed the nation': Iceland CEO and former Tory donor throws support behind Labour

The policing minister has said first-time offenders for knife crime will not be jailed.

No plans to jail first-time knife offenders despite desperate pleas of Nottingham attack victim's family

Exclusive
US voters can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden

'Two old men fighting over a Zimmer frame': US can do better than Trump or Biden as president, says Jon Sopel

Nick Ferrari says bosses need to 'get a grip' and start justifying their huge pay packets with services that actually work

Firms led by overpaid bosses need a ‘reality check’ - let's get people back to the office, says Nick Ferrari