Facebook’s ‘sensitive political decisions’ to be taken by think tanks
Facebook reportedly plans to hand over political decision-making related to ‘propaganda campaigns’ to think tanks. The IT giant already uses ‘geopolitical expertise’ from the group funded by State Department and the US Army.
The company’s head Mark Zuckerberg wants to outsource “most sensitive political decisions,” leaving “geopolitics” to think tanks, Facebook employees privately told Reuters.
Facebook is already working closely with the Digital Forensic Research Lab, organized by the US government-funded think tank, the Atlantic Council. The company relies on the lab’s “geopolitical expertise” when tackling the ‘Russian trolls’ allegedly meddling in US election campaigns.
Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos explained to reporters that the tech company itself doesn’t have “the necessary information” to identify the “relationship between political motivations that we infer about an adversary and the political goals of a nation-state.”
Last week, Facebook deleted 32 pages and accounts it said were run by ‘bad actors.’ The company didn’t specify who the deleted accounts belonged to, but its partner, the Digital Forensic Research Lab said the same day that they were “reminiscent of the troll operation run from Russia.”
Facebook had announced its election partnership with the Atlantic Council in May. The company cited the council’s “stellar reputation” in battling disinformation. That month Facebook also donated to the council’s digital lab an undisclosed amount of money, Reuters reports.
The Atlantic Council was established in 1961 to promote the NATO agenda worldwide, with the US State Department still serving as one of its chief funders. The US Air Force, Army, Navy, the Marine Corps, the US Army War College, and the US Air Force Academy are also listed as the council’s active donors, along with the US Mission to NATO and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Aside from the financial support from the US government, the think tank receives money from NATO and other nations, including the various EU states, like the UK, Germany, Sweden, and Lithuania, all of whom expressed concerns over the alleged ‘Russian meddling’ into their domestic affairs.
The organization’s donor list includes major corporations, like Microsoft, General Electric, oil and gas companies Chevron and Total S.A., weapons manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co, and the European Investment Bank.
The think tank also accepts money from anti-Russian interest groups, such as the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which welcomed the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Western states and urged the public to boycott the FIFA World Cup hosted by Russia.
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