Foreign actors drive the political divide

Foreign bad actors have been studying our culture and have come to the very correct conclusion that nothing divides people more than a spicy Instagram post. 

What happened: Meta has taken down a network of 4,800 fake Facebook and Instagram accounts that were designed to stoke division in the U.S. by spreading political content. 

… and boy, from Hunter Biden’s criminal charges to George Santos paying for Botox with campaign funds to Ron DeSantis probably wearing height boosters, there’s lots to share.  

  • The network of accounts, originating from China, posed as Americans sharing posts from liberal and conservative sources and some also pivoting to pro-Chinese content.

Why it matters: According to Meta, the inauthentic accounts underscore the threat of foreign interference ahead of several weighty elections in the U.S., Mexico, and India. 

  • The use of AI to spread misinformation is another top concern, as sophisticated programs make it easy to create lifelike audio and video content to mislead voters.

  • Meta announced a new policy requiring a disclaimer for political ads that contain AI-generated content, but that hasn’t stopped fake videos from picking up steam.  

Bottom line: Concerns remain about the effectiveness of current measures to protect election integrity as social media platforms struggle to come up with better defences.—SB