Your Illinois News Radar » Facebook helps fix a leaky faucet in a burning building – The Capitol Fax Blog

* Pekin Daily Times

With concerns prevalent about online election meddling in the United States, ensuring cyber-security has become a priority for election officials throughout the country.

“There are threats that are attacking us,” said Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman. “Iran, China and Russia are hitting counties the size of Tazewell County. Domestically, there are also individuals who have attacked local (election systems). Tazewell County has been attacked since I’ve been in office. We’ve received several (attacks), but ransom attacks seem to be (the most common). The procedures we have in place have stopped every single one of them so far.”

In an effort to enhance security procedures for election officials throughout the state, the Illinois State Board of Elections organized a one-hour webinar on Facebook Elections Integrity and Best Practices Tuesday. The training, tailored specifically toward Illinois election officials and their staffs, covered such topics as safety and security, proper channels for reporting misinformation, and the latest Facebook tools, products and resources election officials can use to keep accounts safe while connecting with voters. […]

“(Changing votes in Illinois) would take such an astronomical amount of work that it’s nearly impossible,” Ackerman said. “You would have to break into 109 separate, independent election authorities throughout the state and manipulate their electronic records all at the same time in order to manipulate the vote. What the Russians wanted to do (in 2016) was not to change the vote, but to change people’s opinions through misinformation. Unrest is what the Russians and other foreign agents want to sow in the United States.”

An election-day ransomware attack would most definitely not be a good thing for a county clerk. Whew. I mean, I shudder to think.

* Speaking of Facebook

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other major tech companies met with U.S. government officials on Wednesday to discuss their plans to counter disinformation on social media in the run-up to the November election.

In a joint statement, the companies said that this was the latest in a series of meetings “on what we’re seeing on our respective platforms and what we expect to see in the coming months.” The statement said today’s meetings focused on the upcoming political conventions and “scenario planning relating to election results.” […]

In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said the company is working harder than ever to combat such efforts, saying the goal is to make sure voters receive accurate information.

“I think I actually want to make the act of trying to tell a lie, or misleading people, more difficult,” Gleicher said.

I’ll believe that when I see it.

However, I did notice that they were blocking some false stories today when I went to look up a local public official who’d allegedly posted something pretty vile on Facebook and also saw this…

That’s from the Marion County coroner’s personal FB page. I’m not on Facebook much any more, so I don’t know if that’s common. Also, if you have the stomach for the vile post, click here.


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