Home Meta loses government election meddling briefings

Meta loses government election meddling briefings

As the 2024 election season approaches, Meta faces a substantial hurdle, as US government agencies have stopped sharing information about covert foreign influence operations on its platform. Meta disclosed that the government ceased providing briefings on election meddling in July, depriving the company of a crucial data source. This lack of information from government agencies puts Meta in a challenging position as they strive to combat disinformation and potential election interference on their platform. Consequently, the company may have to invest heavily in expanding its internal monitoring and data analysis capabilities to effectively identify and mitigate these threats.

Reasons for the change and its impact

Nathaniel Gleicher, Meta’s head of security policy, chose not to comment on the government’s reasons for the change. However, it coincides with a court order that restricted the Biden administration’s interaction with social media companies earlier in the year. Despite the court order being temporarily suspended as it awaits a Supreme Court ruling, organizations such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and the FBI have continued the “pause” in information sharing. This prolonged pause in collaboration between government agencies and social media platforms raises concerns about the potential impact of tackling online misinformation and cybersecurity threats. As both entities navigate through the legal aspects of their cooperation, it remains crucial that they find common ground to protect the digital landscape and maintain public safety.

Gleicher stressed that government contacts are not the only source of information for Meta, as the company still works with industry researchers and civil society organizations. However, he admitted that government officials have valuable knowledge about specific threats, including those orchestrated on different platforms. In addition to government sources, acquiring data from these various entities gives Meta a more comprehensive understanding of emerging cybersecurity risks and potential disinformation campaigns. By collaborating with both the public and private sectors, Meta aims to fortify its defenses against cyber attacks and maintain the trust and safety of its users across all platforms.

Coordinated inauthentic behavior and CIB removals

Meta routinely exchanges information about coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB) networks – groups of fraudulent accounts utilized for foreign propaganda and other influence operations. While most of Meta’s CIB removals are not based on government intelligence, the company has depended on such tips to identify attempts to target US politics. These government intelligence tips have proven invaluable in detecting potential threats and mitigating the spread of misinformation in the political landscape. Meta continues to work closely with government agencies to improve its ability to detect and eliminate such networks, thereby maintaining the integrity of political discourse on its platforms.

Featured Image Credit: Julio Lopez; Pexels

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Deanna Ritchie
Former Editor

Deanna was an editor at ReadWrite until early 2024. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind, Editor in Chief for Calendar, editor at Entrepreneur media, and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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