April 4, 2019 / 2:40 PM / 16 days ago

Facebook's Zuckerberg confident of stopping interference in 2020 campaign

FILE PHOTO: Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is confident the world’s biggest social network will do better in 2020 at stopping “bad actors” from manipulating the U.S. presidential election.

“We’ve learned a lot since 2016, where, obviously, we were behind where we needed to be on defenses for nation states trying to interfere,” he said in a “Good Morning America” interview released on Thursday.

“These aren’t things that you ever fully solve, right? They’re ongoing arms races, where we need to make sure that our systems stay ahead of the sophisticated bad actors, who are just always going to try to game them.”

U.S. intelligence agencies say there was an extensive Russian cyber-influence operation during the 2016 campaign aimed at helping Donald Trump, a Republican, defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Zuckerberg said here the social media giant had implemented a lot of different measures since 2016 to verify any advertiser who is running a political ad and create an archive so anyone could see what advertisers are running, who they are targeting and how much they are paying.

Advertising practices at Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 2.7 billion users and $56 billion in annual revenue, have been in the spotlight for two years amid growing discontent over its approach to privacy and user data.

The company said in a congressional testimony last year that Russian agents created 129 events on the network during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, shedding more light on Russia’s purported disinformation drive aimed at voters.

“At this point, (we) have probably some of the most-advanced systems of any company or government in the world for preventing the kind of tactics that Russia and now other countries, as well, have tried,” Zuckerberg said.

Asked if he could guarantee that there would not be interference in the election, Zuckerberg said, “What I can guarantee is that they’re definitely going to try.”

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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