US Government Ceases Briefing Meta on Foreign Influence Campaigns

As Meta prepares for the 2024 election, it faces a new challenge. US government agencies have stopped sharing information with the company’s security researchers about covert attempts to interfere in elections. Meta says that as of July, the government has “paused” briefings related to foreign election interference, eliminating a key source of information. Meta’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, declined to speculate on the government’s motivations. The order, the result of two states’ attempts to limit platforms’ ability to remove misinformation, is currently suspended while the Supreme Court reviews the case. But government agencies, like CISA and the FBI, have apparently opted to keep the “pause” in place. Gleicher noted that government contacts aren’t Meta’s only source of information, and that the company continues to work with industry researchers and other civil society groups. Meta has relied on government tips in detecting coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting US politics, and the company has acted on three separate FBI tips about fake accounts from Russia, Iran, and Mexico. Meta’s latest comments confirm that it is no longer receiving tips about election interference. This comes as the company ramps up its efforts to prepare for multiple elections in 2024 and the inevitable attempts to manipulate political conversations on its platform. The company said in its latest report on coordinated inauthentic behavior that China is now the third-most common source of such behavior on its platform, behind Russia and Iran.