Social media has profoundly changed the way we communicate, participate in the political sphere, and consume news. However, revelations driven by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference have also highlighted the implications for national security. In addition to probing America’s voting and registration systems, a core component of Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election involved sustained and widespread information operations – so-called ‘active measures’ designed to hijack the national conversation, set us against ourselves, and undermine our democracy. While Senator Warner’s work has prompted a series of high-profile product and policy changes by the nation’s largest tech companies, the continued viability of these activities on social media platforms indicates that much work remains – and raises more immediate concerns about the use of these tools in the upcoming midterm elections.
[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]