Tel Aviv (AFP)

Facebook has said it will take steps to "minimize potential harm" to the social network in the upcoming elections in Israel, said Wednesday the number two Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, visiting Israel.

While the Jewish state calls on its citizens to vote on September 17, Facebook's director of operations has stressed the social network's intention to "invest in security in the run-up to (legislative) elections in Israel," according to a statement from the group citing it.

Facebook wants to minimize "potential harms" by "collaborating with third-party fact-checking organizations and setting new standards for ad transparency," the company said.

These statements come after the Bloomberg agency revealed Tuesday that Facebook has paid hundreds of subcontractors to transcribe sound clips of conversations of some users. The company did not specify what it was doing then recordings, according to the agency.

In a statement sent to Bloomberg, Facebook acknowledged having transcribed recordings - with the permission of users - and said it ended the practice.

Among the giants of the internet, Facebook is particularly under pressure, having been the target of sharp criticism for not having been able to detect campaigns of manipulation of the American electorate in the 2016 presidential election, attributed to the Russia which denies.

The Cambridge Analytica case - a scandal revealed in 2018 about exploiting data from Facebook users without their knowledge for political purposes - has also tarnished its reputation.

In late July, the social network paid a record $ 5 billion fine to the US authorities for misuse of private data of its users.

Visiting Tel Aviv to attend the launch of "Playground", a new network space for startups and companies, Sandberg called Israel a "start-up nation, just behind Silicon Valley, with the highest density of startups in the world ".

© 2019 AFP