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Facebook needs to do more to protect users' civil rights, Sheryl Sandberg says

Facebook on Tuesday released a progress report on its civil rights audit, which it launched in response to demands from civil rights organizations. "We know that we need to do more: to listen, look deeper and take action to respect fundamental rights," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, said in a blog post announcing the findings.

The company said it made changes like strengthening efforts to fight voter suppression and cracking down on fake accounts seeking to influence political views.

"Facebook is committed to working with leading U.S. civil rights organizations to strengthen and advance civil rights on our service. They've raised a number of important concerns, and I'm grateful for their candor and guidance," Sandberg said. 

Laura Murphy, a civil liberties leader and longtime ACLU director, led the audit. After meeting with civil rights leaders and experts, Murphy wrote in the report, Facebook decided to focus the first phase of its audit on preventing voter intimidation and suppression ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The social network said it strengthened efforts against voter suppression, brought in voting experts to inform its policies, added ways for users to report incorrect voting information and created channels for state election authorities to report potential voter suppression content. Facebook also highlighted its "war room" efforts to combat fake election news leading up to the midterms. 

The social media giant plans to continue the audit in 2019, focusing on content moderation and creating a "civil rights accountability infrastructure" to make sure Facebook stays on the right track.

Facebook will release another progress report on the audit next year, Murphy wrote in the report.

This story originally appeared on CNET.

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