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Facebook: Our Approach to Maintaining a Safe Online Environment in Countries at Risk

We take a comprehensive approach in countries that are experiencing or at risk for conflict or violence — acting quickly to remove content that violates our policies and taking protective measures.  Since 2018, we’ve built teams with expertise on issues such as human rights, hate speech, misinformation and polarization. Many have lived or worked in…

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  • We take a comprehensive approach in countries that are experiencing or at risk for conflict or violence — acting quickly to remove content that violates our policies and taking protective measures. 
  • Since 2018, we’ve built teams with expertise on issues such as human rights, hate speech, misinformation and polarization. Many have lived or worked in high-risk countries and speak relevant languages. 
  • We have an industry-leading process for reviewing and prioritizing countries with the highest risk of offline harm and violence, every six months. When we respond to a crisis, we deploy country-specific support as needed.
  • The complexity of these issues means there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution. Our work will never be finished and requires ongoing vigilance and investments. 

Over the past two decades, Facebook has empowered people around the world with a wealth of social and economic benefits. It has made social connection and free expression possible on a massive scale. This can be especially important for people who are in places that are experiencing conflict and violence.    

Facebook supports people’s right to express themselves freely, regardless of where they are in the world. Freedom of expression is a foundational human right and enables many other rights.  But we know that technologies for free expression, information and opinion can also be abused to spread hate and misinformation — a challenge made even worse in places where there is a heightened risk of conflict and violence. This requires developing both short-term solutions that we can implement when crises arise and having a long-term strategy to keep people safe. Here is our approach.  

Since 2018, we’ve had dedicated teams spanning product, engineering, policy, research and operations to better understand and address the way social media is used in countries experiencing conflict. Many of these individuals have experience working on conflict, human rights and humanitarian issues, as well as addressing areas like misinformation, hate speech and polarization. Many have lived or worked in the countries we’ve identified as highest risk and speak relevant languages. They are part of the over 40,000 people we have working on safety and security, including global content review teams in over 20 sites around the world reviewing content in over 70 languages. 

In the last two years, we’ve hired more people with language, country and topic expertise. For example, we’ve increased the number of team members with work experience in Myanmar and Ethiopia to include former humanitarian aid workers, crisis responders and policy specialists. And we’ve hired more people who can review content in Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali and Burmese. Adding more language expertise has been a key focus area for us. This year alone, we’ve hired content moderators in 12 new languages, including Haitian Creole, Kirundi, Tswana and Kinyarwanda.

Evaluating Harm in Countries at Risk

Our teams have developed an industry-leading process for reviewing and prioritizing which countries have the highest risk of offline harm and violence every six months. We make these determinations in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and following a review of these factors:

  • Long-term conditions and historical context: We rely on regional experts, platform data and data from more than 60 sources like Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), Uppsala Conflict Data Program, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Early Warning Project, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, and the World Bank to assess the long-term conditions on the ground. These can include civic participation and human rights, societal tensions and violence, and the quality of relevant information ecosystems.
  • How much the use of our products could potentially impact a country: We prioritize countries based on a number of factors, including: where our apps have become most central to society, such as in countries where a larger share of people use our products; where there’s been an increase in offline harms; and where social media adoption has grown.
  • Current events on the ground: We also give special consideration to discrete events that might magnify current societal problems, such as local risk or occurrence of atrocity crimes, elections, episodes of violence and COVID-19 vaccination and transmission rates.

Strategies for Helping to Keep People Safe in Countries At Risk

Using this prioritization process, we develop longer-term strategies to prepare for, respond to and mitigate the impacts of harmful offline events in the countries we deem most at risk. This allows us to act quickly to remove content that violates our policies and take other protective measures while still protecting freedom of expression and other human rights principles. Recent examples include our preparations for elections in Myanmar, Ethiopia, India and Mexico. 

  • Understanding and engaging with local contexts and communities: We know that working with the people and organizations on the ground with firsthand information and expertise is essential. Over the past few years, we’ve expanded these relationships with local civil society organizations to support country-specific education programs and product solutions, and to ensure our enforcement accounts for local context. We’ve also expanded our global network of third-party fact-checkers. Additionally, we have invested significant resources in more than 30 countries with active conflict or societal unrest. Together with UN partners and dozens of local and global NGOs, we have developed programming, including through global digital literacy initiatives such as We Think Digital or programs to make online engagement safer, such as Search for Common Ground’s program in central Africa.
  • Developing and evaluating policies to prohibit harmful content and behavior: We are constantly evaluating and refining our policies to address evolving nuances of hate speech, identify groups at heightened risk of violence or perpetrators of atrocities and human rights abusers, or the potential for rumors and misinformation to contribute to offline physical harm, particularly in countries where ethnic and religious tensions are present.
  • Improving our technology and enforcement to help keep our community safe: During moments when the risk of harm is greater, we may take more aggressive action. For example, ahead of elections and during periods of heightened unrest in India, Myanmar and Ethiopia, we significantly reduce the distribution of content that likely violates our policies on hate speech or incitement of violence while our teams investigate it. Once we confirm that the content violates these policies, we remove it. We also significantly reduce the distribution of content posted from accounts that have repeatedly posted violating content — in addition to our standard practice of removing accounts that frequently violate our Community Standards. To protect people in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover, we launched a feature that allows them to lock their profile to provide an extra layer of privacy, security and protection for their information. 

In a crisis, we will determine what kind of support and teams we need to dedicate to a particular country or language, and for how long we need to keep them in place. This might include deploying our Integrity Product Operations Centers model to monitor and respond to threats in real time. It can also include seeking to ensure our integrity systems and resources are robust and ready where there may be ongoing risk of political unrest, or building temporary product levers ahead of a protest or a culturally sensitive event — all while ensuring that we have teams ready to support unplanned events, such responding to the coup in Myanmar. 

We know that we face a number of challenges with this work and it is a complex and often adversarial space — there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Many of these offline issues have existed for decades or longer, and media services have a long history of being abused by those seeking to assert or maintain power or incite violence. But, we know our work to keep our global community safe will never be finished and it requires ongoing vigilance and investments. That’s what we’ve done for many years and we will continue doing it going forward.

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Facebook: How Meta Is Preparing for Brazil’s 2022 Elections

Today, we want to share our work to protect the integrity of presidential elections taking place in Brazil in October 2022. In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts to combat misinformation by investing in teams, technology and partnerships to ensure the safety of people using Meta’s platforms. Since 2016, we’ve quadrupled our security and integrity…

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Today, we want to share our work to protect the integrity of presidential elections taking place in Brazil in October 2022. In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts to combat misinformation by investing in teams, technology and partnerships to ensure the safety of people using Meta’s platforms.

Since 2016, we’ve quadrupled our security and integrity workforce to more than 40,000 people globally. Last year alone, we invested nearly $5 billion in both areas.

We know that local knowledge is essential for this work to be effective, so we also have a large team of specialists based in Brazil who have a deep understanding of the situation. These efforts are intensified as the election approaches, and our work to protect the integrity of our platforms will continue after the vote.

Preventing and Stopping Election Interference

Removing content that violates our policies on voter suppression, such as posts that discourage people from voting, is among our many responses to potential interference in the electoral process. We take many actions to prevent hate speech or the incitement of violence on our platforms.

Currently, 99.7% of the fake accounts we remove from Facebook are deleted by artificial intelligence, before they are reported by users. We also investigate and disrupt networks that use fake accounts in a coordinated way to influence public debate.

Closer to October, we will activate an Elections Operations Center focused on Brazil, an initiative we’ve implemented since 2018, to bring together experts from across the company – including intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, public policy and legal teams. They work together to identify potential threats on our platforms in real time, accelerating our response time.

Collaborating With Authorities

In partnership with Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE), in December 2021 we started adding a label to posts about political elections on Facebook and Instagram, directing people to reliable information on the Electoral Justice website. In the first two months after its launch, the label led to a 10-fold increase in visits to the Electoral Justice portal.

Between the end of April and the beginning of May, we posted reminders on Facebook for users to request or update their voter cards. The content was seen by the majority of adults using Facebook in Brazil and more than three  million people clicked to see more information. Closer to the upcoming election, we will again display reminders on Facebook and Instagram about voting day to raise awareness among voters and reduce abstention rates.

For the first time, the TSE will be able to report content directly on Facebook and Instagram that may violate our policies. We will analyze the reports once they are received.

WhatsApp launched an extrajudicial channel of communication in the 2020 municipal election to receive complaints from the TSE. The focus is on quick response to potential cases of bulk messaging, which is forbidden by local electoral law and by the app’s terms of service.

We also developed a virtual assistant on WhatsApp with the TSE, as we did during Brazil’s 2020 municipal election. The chatbot is accessible through the number +55 61 9637-1078. It allows voters to interact directly with the electoral authority and receive relevant information about the vote.

Meta has hosted training sessions for electoral officials all over Brazil to explain our actions to curb misinformation, share details on how Facebook and Instagram work, and detail our content rules, which we call our Community Standards and Community Guidelines. We also offer workshops to candidates and their campaign teams.

The partnership with the TSE also includes booklets with information for the electoral community and a guide to combating online violence against women in politics, also supported by the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) – Brazil Chapter.

Fighting Misinformation

We remove content on Facebook and Instagram that discourages voting or interferes with voting, such as incorrect information about the election date or candidates’ numbers.

We also work with independent fact-checking organizations to verify the veracity of reported posts that don’t violate our Community Standards. When fact-checkers mark a post as false, we reduce its reach on Facebook and Instagram.

People who still see this content in their feeds will see it covered with a label and a link directing them to more information from the fact-checker. In July, we increased the number of partners in our fact-checking initiative in Brazil from four to six including: Agência Lupa, AFP, Aos Fatos, Estadão Verifica, Reuters Fact Check and UOL Confere.

Since messages on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, we fight misinformation on WhatsApp through measures to reduce message virality.

Messages forwarded on WhatsApp are identified with a tag. Since 2020, messages with five or more forwards can be resent to just one conversation, which has led to a 70% global reduction in the number of frequently forwarded messages. This year, we implemented a new forwarding limit on WhatsApp: now, any forwarded message can only be forwarded again to one WhatsApp group at a time.

Advertising Transparency

In 2018, we launched our transparency tools for ads about politics and elections on Facebook and Instagram in Brazil. In 2020, we began requiring advertisers who wish to run ads about elections or politics to complete an authorization process and include “Paid for by” disclaimers on these ads. This year, we’ve expanded that requirement to ads about social issues such as economics, security and education.

All posts with the “Paid for by” disclaimer go to the Ad Library, where they are stored for seven years. The tool is open and provides anyone with detailed information about political ads including  the ad source account, audience demographics and estimated spending range, among other data.

Protecting the integrity of the Brazilian election in 2022 on our apps is a priority for Meta. We will continue to share updates on how we move forward with this work.

See more information about our work on elections.

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Microsoft is a Leader in The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites, Q3 2022

We are honored to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was identified as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022. A few weeks ago, during his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella reminded us of the distinct value that Microsoft provides to organizations by leading the way in digital transformation and supercharging their systems…

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We are honored to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was identified as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022.

A few weeks ago, during his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella reminded us of the distinct value that Microsoft provides to organizations by leading the way in digital transformation and supercharging their systems of record. “Dynamics 365 is purpose-built for this new world of business process. Our intelligent business applications connect data, process, and teams, ushering in a new era of hyper connected business and offering unparalleled value.” And over this past year we have been proud to see our customers take Dynamics 365 and show that there are really no limits to what can be done when you unite data silos with industry-leading AI and integrate collaboration tools throughout.

From the Campari Group’s ability to deploy bespoke personalization to their event attendees with real-time customer journey orchestration, to Dextra Group’s saving a whopping 60 percent on their customer relationship management (CRM) cost while also increasing seller productivity and lead quality, and to the city of Richmond, Virginia transformation of their non-emergency case management capabilities to deliver omnichannel engagement for improved efficiency and also becoming benchmark for how governments nationwide can utilize digital tools to better serve their communities.

What makes our CRM and connected products stand out for our customers? Here are seven key insights we have heard over the past year.

  1. Dynamics 365 provides an end-to-end, full-funnel solution. Dynamics 365 is the only portfolio of intelligent business applications that accelerates revenue outcomes by transforming selling experiences with a single intelligent, digital, customizable solution.
  2. Robust AI insights at your fingertips. Dynamics 365 enables everyone, across every team, to make better and more impactful decisions by converting data into insights with the intelligence of Microsoft AI allowing teams to be more efficient and productive.
  3. Breakdown the barriers between people. We offer the leading workplace collaboration, video conferencing, and meeting software in the world with Microsoft Teams, which can connect seamlessly with our out-of-the-box CRM or be personalized to fit an organization’s needs with custom features.
  4. Personalize every experience. Dynamics 365 Marketing assists companies in more deeply understanding their customers and drives intent with AI-powered insights to deliver connected experiences—all the way from acquisition to retention.
  5. Streamlined, proactive, scalable sales. Dynamics 365 helps sales teams uplevel forecasting and revenue operations with built-in AI and machine learning and enhance seller performance with recommended next best actions, productivity tools, and real-time coaching.
  6. Breakthrough service capabilities. Dynamics 365 Customer Service helps organizations meet the evolving needs of every customer across every channel and increases customer satisfaction, while boosting frontline employee productivity regardless of location.
  7. Low-code transformation. With Microsoft Power Platform, organizations can provide anyone with the ability for low-code transformation with low-code, intuitive, extensible tools that seamlessly connect to Dynamics 365. 

It’s an honor for us that so many organizations look to us for help modernizing sales, marketing, and service operations. As Forrester states in its report, “Microsoft’s strong vision, the breadth of its suite, and its partner ecosystem and industry solutions drive its 40% year-over-year growth, especially in industries such as financial services, healthcare, and retail.” We genuinely believe that with connected data, underpinned by industry leading AI and insights, there are no limits to what organizations can do. From upleveling employee experiences, to improving team productivity, and building deeper relationships with customers. It is all available with Dynamics 365.

Learn more

To learn more about how Microsoft compared with the other eight selected providers, please navigate to The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022 website and get your copy.

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Exchange Online Basic authentication is going away: What you need to know

Effective October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to use Basic authentication to connect to Microsoft Exchange Online. If your organization uses server-side synchronization or the deprecated Dynamics 365 Email Router, you should find out now whether you need to prepare for the change. How will removing Exchange Online Basic authentication affect Dynamics…

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Effective October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to use Basic authentication to connect to Microsoft Exchange Online. If your organization uses server-side synchronization or the deprecated Dynamics 365 Email Router, you should find out now whether you need to prepare for the change.

How will removing Exchange Online Basic authentication affect Dynamics 365 and Power Apps?

After October 1, 2022, any connection to Exchange Online that uses server-side sync or the Dynamics 365 Email Router with Basic authentication (username and password) will quit working. Dynamics 365 mailboxes that use these connections will no longer be able to:

  • Send email from Dynamics 365 through Exchange Online
  • Retrieve email from Exchange Online
  • Synchronize appointments, contacts, or tasks between Dynamics 365 and Exchange Online

This change doesn’t affect connections that use Modern authentication (OAuth 2.0 token-based authorization).

How can I find out if I need to prepare?

If your company is using server-side sync or the Email Router to connect to Exchange Online using a username and password, you need to act. There are a couple of ways to find out whether your organization is affected and what you need to do if it is.

Review your Message Center Posts (recommended)

The fastest and most reliable way to know if you need to prepare and what to do is to look in the Microsoft 365 Message Center. (You must have admin rights to sign in to the Message Center.) The Exchange Online team has been sending monthly Message Center posts to all affected customers with the following title format: “Basic Authentication – Monthly Usage Report – 2022.”

If your organization is using server-side sync with Basic authentication, you may also have received Message Center posts from the Dynamics 365 or Power Apps services. Look for posts with the following title: “Impact due to Exchange Online disabling Basic Authentication.”

The posts provide detailed information about the change and actions you need to take before October 1.

Check your Dynamics 365 email settings

If you don’t find any posts in the Message Center, read our guide on how to check whether your organization is affected and if it is, what you need to do before October 1.

Learn more

You can find more information, including FAQs, in the documentation:

Use of Basic authentication with Exchange Online | Microsoft Docs

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