Officials with Meta have warned that foreign companies are likely to attempt to influence the 2024 election with a wave of fake social media accounts spreading propaganda.
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This election cycle is different as the United States government has chosen to stop proactively sharing information with Meta, along with other social media platforms, about foreign government online influence operations. Meta informed reporters of this new change on Wednesday, and according to Meta’s global threat intelligence lead, Ben Nimmo, “We believe that it’s important to build on the progress the defender community has made since 2016, and make sure that we work together to keep evolving our defenses against foreign interference.“
Notably, Meta’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, informed reports that the drip feed of information from the US government stopped in July. Gleicher declined to comment on why the US government has stopped providing social media platforms with information. Furthermore, before the 2020 election, the US government gave vital information to Meta to prevent online influence campaigns by Russia, Mexico, and Iran – all of which the company now warns will, and particularly, be attempting this election cycle.
“Information sharing between tech companies, governments and law enforcement has also proven critical to identifying and disrupting foreign interference early, ahead of elections,” the company wrote in the report.
“This type of information sharing can be particularly critical in disrupting malicious foreign campaigns by sophisticated threat actors who coordinate their operations outside of our platforms,” the company reported.
“While we’ve continued to strengthen our internal capacity to detect and enforce against malicious activity since 2017, external insights from counterparts in government, as well as researchers and investigative journalists, can be particularly important in detecting and disrupting threat activity early in its planning taking place off-platform.“
“We anticipate that if relations with China become an election issue in a particular country, it is likely that we’ll see China-based influence operations pivot to attempt to influence those debates,” the report notes. “The more domestic debates in Europe and North America focus on support for Ukraine, the more likely that we should expect to see Russian attempts to interfere in those debates.“