Facebook is on the hunt to recruit people who have national security clearances, as part of a broader push to address meddling on the social network ahead of general elections.

People with national security clearances could assist Facebook in its quest to crack down on political interference, because they are able to access information classified by the US government, it was reported by Bloomberg.

Job candidates with such clearances are usually former government or intelligence officials.

The move comes as Facebook faces greater scrutiny for not doing enough to prevent the manipulation of voters on its platform by foreign powers in the lead up to elections.

In September, Facebook admitted that it sold about $100,000 in ads during the 2016 presidential election campaign to buyers it later discovered were linked to the Russian government.

The company has now shared the ads with congressional investigators and also provided information on how they were paid for, as well as how users were targeted.

“Things happened on our platform that shouldn’t have happened” in the lead-up to the US election, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer told the Axios website on Thursday.

Her comments echo those of Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who said last month that the platform plans to hire more than 250 people to improve the social network’s security policies.

Furthermore, the social media giant wants to double the number of employees who work directly on its election integrity team, he said.

With a number of big upcoming general elections coming up this year and in 2018, Facebook has to move quickly.

The Chilean and Japanese general elections both take place on Sunday, while the Danish general election is expected in June next year.

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on the company’s recruitment plans.

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On November 1, Facebook, along with Google and Twitter are expected to testify before Congress about Russia’s use of their services and ads to interfere with the US elections.

Meanwhile, Facebook faces separate criticism concerning copyright infringement and the spread of extremist material.

Last week, the UK culture secretary Karen Bradley defended Facebook, insisting that the platform should not be classified as a publisher, but should instead remain as just a conduit of information:

I’m not sure that the publisher definition in UK law would necessarily work in the way that people would like it to work. I think it would end up being very restrictive.