FACEBOOK ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH THINK TANK CONNECTED TO NATO, MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
Facebook has announced a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, a think tank with close ties to the Military Industrial Complex and Defense Department.
On Thursday Facebook announced a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, a think tank which officially claims to provide a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders. The social media giant said the partnership is aimed at preventing Facebook from “being abused during elections.” The press release promotes Facebook’s efforts to fight fake news by using artificial intelligence, as well as working with outside experts and governments.
Today, we’re excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems. Experts from their Digital Forensic Research Lab will work closely with our security, policy and product teams to get Facebook real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world. This will help increase the number of “eyes and ears” we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world.
Facebook goes on to describe how the Atlantic Council’s Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions will be monitoring traffic during elections and other “highly sensitive moments.” Facebook claims this will help the company monitor for misinformation and foreign interference. Of course, there is also the obligatory reference to protecting democracy and “free and fair elections across the world.”
The Atlantic Council of the United States was established in 1961 to bolster support for international relations. Although not officially connected to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Atlantic Council has spent decades promoting causes and issues which are beneficial to NATO member states. In addition, The Atlantic Council is a member of the Atlantic Treaty Organization, an umbrella organization which “acts as a network facilitator in the Euro-Atlantic and beyond.” The ATA works similarly to the Atlantic Council, bringing together political leaders, academics, military officials, journalists and diplomats to promote values that are favorable to the NATO member states. Officially, ATA is independent of NATO, but the line between the two is razor thin.
Essentially, the Atlantic Council is a think tank which can offer companies or nation states access to military officials, politicians, journalists, diplomats, etc. to help them develop a plan to implement their strategy or vision. These strategies often involve getting NATO governments or industry insiders to make decisions they might not have made without a visit from the Atlantic Council team. This allows individuals or nations to push forth their ideas under the cover of hiring what appears to be a public relations agency but is actually selling access to high-profile individuals with power to affect public policy. Indeed, everyone from George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton to the family of international agent of disorder Zbigniew Brzezinski have spoken at or attended council events.
In 2016, The New York Times wrote “The Atlantic Council, which has seen its annual revenue grow to $21 million from $2 million in the last decade, offers access to United States and foreign government officials in exchange for.....rest of it