Facebook wants to hire people with official national security clearances to help combat potential foreign influence for future elections, according to Bloomberg.
Gaining talent with such authorization could grant Facebook special access to highly classified government information, since the classification can reportedly sometimes carry over into the private sector. The overarching objective is to heighten its identification capabilities for activity on the platform that may be of questionable origin, like content developed by a foreign power for nefarious purposes.
The move, which is unconfirmed since a Facebook spokesman declined to comment, would likely be in response to the company’s concession that it sold political ads to a Russian firm during the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Facebook also confirmed that Russian operatives deceitfully organized and promulgated political protests in America, according to The Daily Beast. While the amount of ads was very small relative to the larger, massive political advertisement ecosystem, it’s still worrisome to lawmakers who fear Russian companies that may have connections to the Kremlin both were and are trying to cultivate an even further schismatic political landscape in America.
Due to concerns from both the public and officials, Facebook later handed over the relevant evidence to congressional investigators, including special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised during a Facebook Live broadcast on his profile to protect “election integrity.” He later expressed atonement during the closing hours of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur for other people using the platform “to divide people.” The entrepreneurial wunderkind also apologized for once calling fake news’ impact on the election a “pretty crazy” idea, while also conversely defending his company on several occasions.
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