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Biden administration no longer communicating with Meta about foreign election interference

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The Biden administration is no longer communicating with Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, about foreign election interference, the tech giant revealed in its quarterly threat report released Thursday.  

Meta said the federal government stopped sharing information about foreign meddling efforts in July, the same month that a federal judge blocked administration officials from communicating with social media companies about content removal or restrictions.

The ruling, which was later narrowed by a federal appeals court and put on hold by the Supreme Court, originates from a lawsuit brought by two Republican state attorneys general who allege the Biden administration’s coordination with social media companies to curb misinformation online amounts to a “campaign of censorship.” 

As the Supreme Court prepares to take up the case next term, the Biden administration appears to have largely halted its communications with tech companies, even though the high court prevented the appeals court’s injunction from going into effect.

Pinterest also confirmed that it has stopped receiving communications from the federal government about political disinformation.

According to The Washington Post, Pinterest has also stopped receiving communications from the federal government about political disinformation.

Meta noted in its Q3 Adversarial Threat report that information sharing between tech companies, governments and law enforcement has previously been “critical to identifying and disrupting foreign interference early.”

“This type of information sharing can be particularly critical in disrupting malicious foreign campaigns by sophisticated threat actors who coordinate their operations outside of our platforms,” the company wrote. 

“While we’ve continued to strengthen our internal capacity to detect and enforce against malicious activity since 2017, external insights from counterparts in government, as well as researchers and investigative journalists, can be particularly important in detecting and disrupting threat activity early in its planning taking place off-platform,” it added.

In Thursday’s report, Meta also noted that it had removed a network of 4,789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States. 

The accounts, which posed as Americans and spread polarizing content about U.S. domestic politics and U.S.-China relations, were removed before they were able to gain authentic engagement on Facebook, Meta said.

The social media company said it also disrupted another China-based network primarily targeting India and the Tibet region and a Russia-based network that targeted global English speaking audiences.

–Updated at 2:43 p.m.

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