The US government has stopped briefing Meta about foreign influence campaigns, which could slow down the company’s efforts to combat foreign attempts at election interference
Meta is gearing up for the 2024 election and is grappling with this new challenge.
The FBI has put an indefinite hold on most briefings to social media companies about Russian, Iranian, and Chinese influence campaigns, adding to a broader breakdown in a system meant to guard against influence operations and to ensure election integrity.
The FBI’s move is tied to rulings by a conservative federal judge and appeals court that said some government agencies and officials should be restricted from communicating and meeting with social media companies to moderate content.
The FBI told the House Judiciary Committee that, since the court rulings, the bureau had discovered foreign influence campaigns on social media platforms but in some cases did not inform the companies about them because they were hamstrung by the new legal oversight .
The GOP offensive started during the 2020 election as public critiques and has since escalated into lawsuits, governmental inquiries, and public relations campaigns that have succeeded in stopping almost all coordination between the government and social media platforms.
A once-robust alliance of federal agencies, tech companies, election officials, and researchers that worked together to thwart foreign propaganda and disinformation has fragmented after years of sustained Republican attacks.
More than a dozen current and former government and tech employees who have been involved in fighting online manipulation campaigns and election falsehoods since 2020 echoed concerns that the symbiotic relationship between the government and the social media companies has been fractured .
The US government is no longer briefing Meta about foreign influence campaigns