Facebook is coordinating a secret meeting of Silicon Valley giants to combat misinformation ahead of upcoming US elections
- Silicon Valley giants are holding a private meeting on Friday to discuss how to tackle misinformation ahead of the 2018 midterm elections in November.
- Buzzfeed news first reported on the meeting after obtaining an email sent by Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy inviting a dozen companies to meet at Twitter's headquarters.
- The companies will present the work they've done to counter misinformation campaigns and discuss the problems they each face.
Silicon Valley giants including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and Snap will hold a private meeting on Friday to discuss the problem of misinformation ahead of the US midterm elections in November.
The meeting was first reported by BuzzFeed, which obtained an email sent by Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher. In the email, he invited representatives from 12 companies to meet at Twitter HQ in San Francisco.
"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," wrote Gleicher.
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According to Gleicher's email, the meeting will have a three-part agenda. Each company will present the work they've done to combat misinformation, then the companies as a whole will discuss the particular problems they each face, and finally, they will decide whether they should hold the meeting on a regular basis.
Eight tech giants held a similar meeting in May of this year, with US government representatives present. Christopher Krebs, an undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security and Mike Burham from the FBI's "foreign influence" taskforce, provided the companies with scant information, reportedly leaving them frustrated.
Foreign influence campaigns on social media ahead of the midterms have been in the spotlight in recent weeks. At the end of July, Facebook announced it had it had banned 32 pages after it uncovered a coordinated effort to influence US politics. It said it was not sure of the provenance of the operation, but that it bore similarities to previous Russian disinformation campaigns.
Microsoft also recently announced it had detected Russian hacking attempts targeted at Republicans, just weeks after it came out that Russian hackers had tried to infiltrate the systems of Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.
Business Insider has contacted Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Snap for comment. Microsoft declined to comment.
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