IF YOU’RE IN POLITICS, READ ON…
Bad actors can using nefarious technological means to wreak havoc on opposing candidates and campaigns. And they do increasingly with social media.
It’s gotten so bad that Facebook has launched a new verification feature to help protect political candidates and their campaign staffs from having their Facebook identities stolen by those who proceed to steal their information or spread disinformation.
“Facebook Protect” is the name of the new program that candidates and campaigns can opt into. Others with famous names and hundreds of thousands of followers can also get the “blue badges” associated with this program. The “gray badge” for verified businesses has been discontinued this week, and businesses are not included in the “blue badge” program.
“The bottom line here is that elections have changed significantly since 2016, said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We’ve gone from being on our back foot to proactively going after some of the biggest threats out there.”
Facebook Protect gives political accounts a two-factor authentication system and Facebook will monitor these accounts for hacking attempts, such as if there are multiple failed attempts to log into an account.
“During an election, we know that certain people such as candidates, elected officials or staff can be targeted by bad actors on social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. Accounts that face additional threats during an election cycle may need additional protection, so we are introducing a program called Facebook Protect, which offers candidates, elected officials, federal and state departments and agencies, and party committees, as well as their staff, a way to further secure their accounts. By enrolling, we’ll help these accounts (1) adopt stronger account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and (2) monitor for potential hacking threats,” according to Facebook’s explanation.
Facebook is encouraging those with the following types of accounts to enroll in the voluntary program:
- People affiliated with blue badge-verified pages, such as:
- Candidates for federal, state and local office and their campaign staff
- Federal, state and local elected officials and their staff
- Representatives from federal and state political party committees and their staff
- Federal, state and local agencies and departments’ Page admins who have a role in the elections process
- Any person or group with a blue badge-verified Page who is involved in the elections process
TWITTER SAYS NO TO POLITICAL ADS
Twitter, also worried about campaign integrity and the company’s reputation, is banning all political ads on its site, it announced today.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Dorsey said that allowing political ads to target people would add to the spread of misinformation, something the company can’t be party to. Twitter’s stock price immediately dropped by 2 percent.
Facebook, which has taken criticism in recent weeks for not “fact checking” what politicians say in their ads, is taking a different approach. It says that the company should not be the arbiter of its users speech, and that political speech is newsworthy.
Few politicians or campaigns in Alaska use Twitter, which is almost exclusively the domain of liberals in the 49th state. Twitter’s reach in Alaska is primarily among politicians, public relations professionals, and Democrat/Socialist political operatives.