The Federal Election Commission (FEC) have invited Facebook and Twitter to a symposium on digital disinformation to be held at the Commission’s office on September 17.
Although the two companies did not disclose yet as to who will represent their respective companies, they have said that they have agreed to attend the event nonetheless.
The FEC is co-hosting the event which is going to be held in Washington. D.C, together with the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center and PEN America, a nonprofit advocating free expression.
The invitation was sent by FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub not only to Twitter and Facebook but to Google as well. The event aims to identify effective policy approaches and practical tools that can minimize the “disruption and confusion sown by fraudulent news and propaganda” in the 2020 campaign.
Google has not responded whether it will send a representative or not.
PEN America which is co-organizing the symposium hopes to bring together a variety of experts coming from tech companies, as well as policymakers, political organizations, and journalists. The participants will be tasked to discuss how disinformation works, its origin, its impact and what can be done to ensure that stakeholders will not be affected come the 2020 election.
The planned event took its cue from the effect of disinformation on the previous 2016 US presidential election. The FEC has said that social networks have been exploited by Russians, Iranians, and Americans to spread disinformation, hoaxes and other malicious information with the intent of sowing discords among the electorate.
Moving ahead of the 2020 election, Facebook has started tightening its rules on political ads that are run on the social networking platform. The company started asking advertisers for more identification information including FEC ID number, government email or business email that directly matches the advertisers’ website domain.
This is to ensure that the advertisers are legitimate and were not created just for black propaganda. These new protocols are being implemented in the hopes of lessening if not eradicating the spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election on the social networking platform.