A veteran Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent was hired this week to become the head of Facebook’s team fighting bad information.
- Aaron Berman has 17 years of experience working for the CIA prior to becoming a senior-level member of Facebook’s team to fight the perpetuation of false information, The Post Millennial reports.
- It remains unclear what information his team has or has not made efforts to reduce, but his tenure at the company began in 2019 and ran through the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Presidential election.
- The Biden administration has been public in its efforts to address bad vaccine and election information, hosting regular meetings with the heads of social-media companies to encourage dangerous ideas to be suppressed.
Why It’s Important
There is a delicate balance to be had between addressing falsehoods and silencing critics of the government. In an age where conspiracy theories and institutional distrust are rampant, the line between those two eventualities blurs, and any sincere attempt by a politician to correct the record with help from private companies raise concerns about first amendment violations, with fears running rampant that corporations are becoming the enforcement arm of an abusive federal government.
As was alleged by The Twitter Files, government agencies have an all-too-cozy relationship with tech companies, with many departments at these companies having the lines blurred between tech company policies and the desires of government agencies on both sides of the aisle to crack down on political dissidents and controversial voices—with many leading voices within companies like Twitter actively celebrating the censorship of leaders like President Donald Trump in private emails.
With the 2024 presidential election looming—and the likely possibility of another matchup between President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden being on the table—social-media networks are going to face difficult discussions in the next two years as to how they allow users to litigate fears of election impropriety and allegations of fraud—be they legitimate or baseless.
As we previously reported, YouTube has already stated that it will take a less hands-on approach to the issue, widening its policies to allow for open discussions on controversial election topics. Twitter similarly has staked a claim as a pro-free speech platform under the new direction of Elon Musk. It remains to be seen how other platforms like Facebook will follow suit, but hiring a former CIA agent to run disinformation will draw allegations of deep-state conspiracies and collusion from conservative critics.