Facebook’s plan for better political ad policing: national security clearance
Social media market leader Facebook has a new plan to ensure it isn’t caught up in another scandal like the one that followed the last presidential election in the U.S. – to get national security clearance. Or, more specifically, to hire people with certain national security clearances, letting the company check that nothing on its platform comes from “political threats”.
Facebook’s share price is up by 51% year to date
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
In the months following Donald Trump’s investiture as President, it became clear that there had been “Russian interference” in the election. It is, admittedly, less clear exactly what that “interference” consisted of – but Facebook has since confirmed that at least some political adverts, which could have been influential during campaigning season, came from Russia. Facebook is not the only company implicated in this scandal, and the company will join peers Google and Twitter to testify in front of Congress on Nov 1.
Predictably, a good deal of conversation has been devoted to how the social media giant can avoid similar situations in the future. This drama is playing out, primarily, in the U.S. – but there’s no reason it’s an American-only problem. Facebook is global, and so is politics.
Facebook’s latest, and perhaps most obviously promising, solution is to employ people that have national security clearances. These people could vet advertising money before what it was paying for got online. And the scheme isn’t as crazy as it sounds: former government employees are often able to retain their security clearances when they move into the private sector, providing there is an argument to do so.
So far, details are thin on the ground. The news broke from an anonymous informant, and neither Facebook nor The Office of the National Director of Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security have responded to requests for comment.
Dominion holds Facebook in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.
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