Meta’s misinformation team downsized ahead of pivotal 2024 elections

With 2024 being election year for countries like the US, Taiwan, India, the EU and Ukraine, tackling election misinformation is key for ensuring safe transitions of power.

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The owner of the recently released Threads app, Meta, has cut team members that tackle misinformation, trolls, and harassment on its platforms, raising unease ahead of the key 2024 elections in the United States and worldwide.

It has been reported that many employees were dismissed following the US Congress midterms back in November 2022. The employees are part of a global team working on Meta’s attempts to counter disinformation tactics to undermine or mislead voters.

Although Meta has increased funding to tackle election misinformation and has been using AI and new falsehood-detection strategies, experts say that discovering advanced disinformation networks is a manual process and that AI developments may lead to a surge in deepfakes.

This comes less than one month after Meta announced that it would be rolling back COVID-19 misinformation prevention measures in certain regions that have repealed the state of emergency for the pandemic. This includes the United States, which, among other issues, sees the pandemic and its government response as a highly divisive issue for the previous and 2024 elections. Moreover, the Biden Administration has previously expressed alarm at YouTube’s intention to discontinue monitoring false claims of electoral fraud in the 2020 election, warning that it could lead to violence during next year’s election campaign.