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Social Media Giants Discuss Election Meddling

Google, Facebook and Twitter executives met on Friday August 25 to discuss strategies to stop meddling in the 2018 United States mid-term elections.

The meeting came after the detection of Iranian and Russian misinformation campaigns which sought to influence the outcome of the American mid-terms.

Facebook brought twelve firms to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco for the meeting. Alongside those mentioned earlier, it was reported that Microsoft and Snapchat would also attend.

News of the meeting was revealed from an email obtained by Buzzfeed.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook head of cybersecurity policy

The email, authored by Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher, opened: “As I’ve mentioned to several of you over the last few weeks, we have been looking to schedule a follow-on discussion to our industry conversation about information operations, election protection, and the work we are all doing to tackle these challenges”.

The first item on the agenda would be for each company to describe what measures they currently have in place and how they are countering disinformation on their platforms. They also discussed the usefulness of having similar discussions on an ongoing basis.

Few details from the email have been released by BuzzFeed, with no discussion on what the second and third parts of the meeting focused on.

Nine of these companies had met previously in May, in the presence of two United States government representatives, Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Chris Krebs and Mike Burham from the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force.

Companies present at the May meeting felt disappointed with the amount of information and support they received from the government representatives present.



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