Facebook warns of “perception hacks” undermining trust in democracy
On Tuesday, Facebook released a warning stating that threat actors are utilizing social media to claim responsibility for illegitimate “major electoral systems hacks” or are pretending to have otherwise disrupted the 2020 Presidential election process. This is referred to in the advisory as perception hacking, and Facebook states that it can undermine people’s faith in democracy while sowing distrust and confusion amongst the voting population.
Facebook said that it took down three separate networks in violation of its policies around coordinated inauthentic behavior. One of these networks is known to be linked to a perception hack, originating in Iran and having connections to the government. Facebook uncovered the network after the FBI notified the tech giant that they discovered off-platform activity by a group claiming to have interfered with the election. Perception hacking arguably poses a huge threat to the election as there has already been uncertainty due to the influx of mail-in voting.