According to a report from Reuters this week, the US Government is enlisting the help of some tech giants for the 2020 census. In an effort to fight “fake news” from affecting the census, Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all committing to help prevent interference with the count.
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The US Census Bureau has reportedly been holding meetings as far back at 2017 with tech companies to discuss ways in which they could assist in fighting potential disinformation surrounding the 2020 census.
Reuters says that the Bureau has been tracking “increasing chatter” on networks such as 4chan from networks both foreign and domestic which are keen to undermine the survey. Sources explain that the census “is a powerful target because it shapes U.S. election districts and the allocation of more than $800 billion a year in federal spending.” One Census Bureau official did confirm that it was enlisting the help of big tech companies to fend off the anticipated disinformation campaigns.
So far, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have apparently all made commitments to help quash disinformation campaigns around the 2020 census. It’s unclear, though, how the companies will be involved or how advanced their efforts will be. Twitter and Google declined to comment while Facebook confirmed the meetings.
Reuters further explains documents from a meeting with Google in 2017 regarding the 2020 census. Apparently, the company said that “it would consider creating a bespoke census-related search project.”
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