Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to meet about midterm elections, report says

The summit will discuss strategies for avoiding another round of disinformation campaigns, Buzzfeed reports.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Representatives from some of tech's biggest names will reportedly meet Friday at Twitter's headquarters in downtown San Francisco.

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Representatives from the biggest companies in tech will meet privately Friday to share information on how they're preparing for the midterm election, Buzzfeed reported late Thursday. The goal of the meeting apparently is to try to avoid a repeat of the Russian interference that occurred during the 2016 US election.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, called the meeting, inviting representatives from a dozen companies, including Google , Microsoft and Snapchat, to a meeting at Twitter's headquarters in downtown San Francisco, Buzzfeed reported, citing an email it had obtained.

"As I've mentioned to several of you over the last few weeks, we have been looking to schedule a follow-on discussion to our industry conversation about information operations, election protection, and the work we are all doing to tackle these challenges," Gleicher reportedly wrote in the email.

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The meeting's agenda, according to the email, will address each company's strategy to counter disinformation campaigns, the challenges each company faces, and discuss whether further, regularly scheduled meetings on the topic are warranted.

Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, have been scrutinized by Congress over the past year after US intelligence agencies determined that the Russian government had used these platforms to disseminate false news and advertisements in an attempt to influence US elections in 2016.

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, the big tech companies have gone into crisis mode to secure their platforms. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been candid that Facebook just wasn't looking out for the right vulnerabilities.

Representatives from Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Oath, Snap and Twitter, met in May with representatives of the US intelligence community to discuss preparations for the midterm elections. But the meeting's atmosphere was described as tense and the sharing of information was one-sided, with tech companies reportedly presenting what they knew but receiving little if any information in return from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

Facebook and Twitter didn't immediate respond to requests for comment.

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