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Will gutted safeguards doom social media–and the election–in 2024?

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Sometimes it seems like one year in the world of social media is the equivalent of five years everywhere else. Conversations, information and controversies all move faster, and the state of play is constantly changing. Entering 2023, TikTok, Twitter (now X) and Meta’s Facebook and Instagram were all in various states of flux ––and that remains the case. But the stakes are higher going into 2024, experts say, and it comes down to one word: elections.

There are major elections taking place in more than 40 countries, including the U.S., in 2024, and where social media is headed has never been more important. Experts say there’s reason to be worried going into election season. “One of the things that I’m concerned about is the fact that platforms have descoped their trust and safety teams and their election integrity efforts,” says Laura Edelson, an assistant professor of computer science at Northeastern University. “That is not to say that we will necessarily feel the pain of those cuts in the U.S., but other countries certainly will. … I am concerned about the current state of resourcing and the current state of information sharing going into what is going to be one of the most intense years for elections we’ve had in a long time.”

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.

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