Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Twitter Inc. have discussed with federal officials how the social-media platforms can prevent the spread of misinformation in the days before and after the election, after the U.S. intelligence community warned of foreign interference and President Trump called the vote’s integrity into question.
The conversations are designed to address problems that may arise from across the political spectrum and have included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and intelligence agencies, according to people familiar with the matter.
They have been shaped by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which is expected to result in far more people voting by mail than in previous elections, making it unclear how long it will take to have final election results.
The discussions have grown more urgent, the people said, as President Trump has repeated his warning of likely vote-by-mail fraud. In late July, for example, he tweeted to his 85 million followers: “2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
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The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that Russia has undertaken a broad effort to damage Democrat Joe Biden’s bid for the presidency, while China prefers that President Trump not win re-election, a senior intelligence official said recently.
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