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Facebook will use American mail to try to prevent future electoral interference

Last week, Special Adviser Robert Mueller filed the first indictments against Russian nationals and organizations for interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Among the discoveries he There were fake social media accounts, stolen American groups and identities that contributed to the coordinated campaign to influence the outcome.

Subject to growing criticism, Facebook said Friday that it would double the number of people working in the security field from 10,000 to 20,000 later this year. He also developed a plan to use postcards sent by US mail to verify the location and identity of people seeking to buy certain types of political advertising.

Any ad using the name of a candidate will require a code that will be sent to buyers on physical postcards. However, the rule will not apply to "advertisements" that do not mention specific candidates by name. The fact that the Russians are recruiting involuntary Americans (and could set up US-based frontline groups) to facilitate their interference does not make this plan infallible.

The postcard procedure will take effect sometime before the 2018 mid-term elections. US intelligence officials said that they have already seen evidence that the Russians seek to interfere in the middle of the year 2018.

The idea that one of the most sophisticated technology companies on the planet is turning to "postal mail" to prevent the operation of its platform by hostile foreign nationals is for the least ironic.


About the author

Greg Sterling is a contributing editor to Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about the link between digital media and consumer behavior in the real world. He is also vice president of strategy and ideas for the local research association. Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google+.

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