Silicon Valley Game-Plans For a Messy Election Night

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other major social media companies are working together to scenario-plan for the last three months before Election Day in the United States — including gaming out what to do if there’s no quickly declared winner in the contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on election night. From a report: The close collaboration between Silicon Valley companies in the run-up to election day is detailed in an unusual cross-industry statement put out Wednesday. Pinterest, LinkedIn-owner Microsoft, and Reddit are also among its signatories. “We discussed preparations for the upcoming conventions and scenario planning related to election results. We will continue to stay vigilant on these issues and meet regularly ahead of the November election,â reads the statement. Among dozens of scenarios being contemplated by the companies for election night in particular are a “hack and leak” operation where stolen materials are quickly spread through online networks and addressing the distribution of manipulated videos, according to a person involved in the planning who spoke anonymously so as to not speak on behalf of the full industry coalition. The scenario planning is “candidate agnostic,” they said. Today’s statement comes shortly after a meeting among the companies and government officials — the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — to discuss the planning. It builds on a series of monthly meetings, the person said, that go back to September of last year.

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