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The Technology 202: Protests, coronavirus and election present disinformation challenge for social media companies

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The Technology 202: Protests, coronavirus and election present disinformation challenge for social media companies

Photo caption: A protester uses his phone during a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, D.C., U.S. May 31, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. Article by Cat Zakrzewski with Tonya Riley.

Silicon Valley giants are about to be tested in unprecedented ways.

Widespread racial unrest, a pandemic and a presidential election could bring a flood of disinformation on social media platforms in the coming months. It’s a perfect storm: All this is happening as the companies struggle to develop and enforce content moderation policies – with more limited staff and operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Policymakers and disinformation experts are already raising concerns that online activism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd could be hijacked by bad actors. […]

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