What Tech Companies Are Doing to Secure the 2020 Election
As we gear up for the November election, all eyes are on the tech companies so that misinformation about the voting process or false claims is not disseminated.
In 2016, Russian AIDS used Facebook to target Americans on the platform, and according to The New York Times, the content that spread fake news reached 126 million Americans.
Since then, Facebook and other platforms have been under the microscope for how they are fighting misinformation and spreading false news before the election. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter together have obstructed the election for this reason. The coalition holds regular meetings with government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to discuss what trends they observe and coordinate efforts for platforms.
Each company has also implemented its own policies and procedures before the election. From banning certain activities to providing dedicated space where you can find voting information, here are what the biggest tech forums are doing to secure the 2020 election.
Perhaps Facebook’s most comprehensive plan is its voting information center, which serves as the first line of the platform for preparation for the chaos of Election Day. The Voting Information Center has alerts and updates for how to register to vote, how to vote by mail, how the coronovirus is affecting the election, how to locate your polling place, and electoral news.
Once Election Day hits, Facebook will close its voter information center, when it will focus on providing accurate updates for counting ballots, including providing clear and accurate information at the top of users’ news feeds. is. Facebook said that teams would be working 24/7 on election days, and in the days that followed, actors would be tasked with finding and stopping those who spread misinformation about election results.
Security and Policy
Facebook’s biggest threat is to combat misinformation on its platform. Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleiker, said the social network is actively tracking three types of threats that come up until election day. These include suppressing voters by spreading false information in counting, hacking and leaking scenarios, and attempting to corrupt or manipulate public debate during the counting of votes.
Facebook is also dealing with news outlets that have political connections. The new policy applies to publishers directly connected to a political entity or individual, and what features they can enjoy in Facebook’s advertising authorization process, including claiming a news exemption and restricting them from appearing in Facebook news.
Facebook banned Deepfake in January as incredibly realistic fake videos are becoming harder and harder to detect.
Facebook’s biggest critic so far is the electoral cycle that it does not investigate political elections properly. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he wanted to keep the platform as open as possible to allow voters to decide for themselves.
However, Facebook last year imposed stricter rules for political ads, including showing advertisers government credibility and verifying their legitimacy by adding disclaimers to political ads.
The social network introduced an option for users to discontinue political ads in January. This step removes responsibility from Facebook and its users.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter completely banned political advertisements last year. CEO Jack Dorsey argued that targeted paid political advertisements push unwanted messages from users, especially by ad buyers who game the system.
Along with political advertisements, Twitter also banned Deep Fake and media manipulation in February. The platform introduced a label on manipulated media and has a policy of hiding or removing tweets based on what the media deems to be “harmful”.
Twitter implemented this policy against President Donald Trump in May when it hid Trump’s tweet about his opposition to Black Lives Matter in Minnesota, stating that the tweet was about his policies regarding “glorification of violence.” Violated. The tweet in question read, “When the loot begins, the shooting begins.”
Another Twitter policy was labeling Twitter politically tied accounts that are candidates on the ballot in upcoming elections and state-affiliated media accounts.
Twitter is the final bet in defense of elections Voting incorrect information. The tool “helps identify and remove misinformation that can suppress voter turnout.” User can use report an issue Tools on a Tweet and Selection This is confusing about a political election To fly false content.
Google’s approach to election preparation has mostly been in the face of political advertising. The tech giant last year implemented a policy on political campaigns that buy advertising space on Google Search, YouTube and display ads run by Google. The policy prohibits these campaigns from using targeted advertisements based on an individual’s political leanings, according to their online activity, or data collected from public voting records.
The search giant is capitalizing on questions from people who may be searching for people as the election draws closer, such as “how to vote” and “how to register to vote”. Google will provide clear-cut information at the top of these search results with non-partisan, third-party data partners, such as Democracy Works.
Hackers in Iran and China targeted presidential campaigns of both Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in June, as security threats are also being monitored. Google’s threat analysis group is working to identify and prevent these types of government-backed attacks against Google and its users. The company also introduced enhanced security for Gmail and G Suite users.
The Google-owned streaming platform has the same policies as its parent company, but it also introduced a fact-checking notice in April. For example, if a user searches for a specific term, and a third-party publisher has a fact-checking article related to it, the user will see a fact-checking message at the top of the search results.
YouTube is also continuously pulling videos involving conspiracies and conspiracy groups such as QAnon.
The latest social media platform has drawn a lot of criticism over its security as it is a China-based app, but Tiktok is actually doing a lot to help inspire its young user base to vote in elections. Tiktok creators have used the platform to spread social activism and election education within a 15-second video by talking about voting by mail and voter registration.
Tikotok has also introduced the US Election Guide within the app which contains educational videos about how to vote, misinformation and the election process, and information about candidates at the federal, state and local levels. There is useful information about how to register to vote under specific circumstances, such as college students, people with disabilities, people convicted in the past, and currently serving overseas.
The Election Guide was created in partnership with organizations such as Balotrady, Media Wise, Signvote, the National Association of Secretaries of State, and Restore Your Vote.
The platform has created policies to prevent the spread of misinformation and to fight foreign interference within the app. Tiktok announced earlier this month that it was working with experts from the US Department of Homeland Security “to protect our platform from foreign influence.” The app has partnered with organizations such as Politifact and Lead Stories to investigate potential misinformation about the 2020 election.
And, like all other platforms, Teaktok implemented a policy against DeepFake.
Reddit also banned DeepFake and “impersonation content” on its platform before the election.
The “Internet front page” is increasing its voting resources through a campaign called Up Voting, which aims to educate redditors on voting rights. The campaign includes an upcoming Ask Me Anything series on voting laws and procedures, providing resources for early voting and updating their registration status, and remind users to opt out and vote on Election Day .
Snapchat is hoping to help youth in the upcoming election to vote with voter registration tools that reside within the app. New features include a voter checklist, a voter guide that gives more information on topics such as voting by mail and ballot education, and registering to vote directly in Snapchat. The voting tools will reside in the “Discover” section of Snapchat.
These instruments specifically target Gen Z and younger millennials, who are statistically lower for voting than older generations.