Are you interested in working in the tech industry and putting your security clearance to good use? The world’s largest social network is on the hunt for employees like you.
Facebook recently made this announcement while citing the need to prevent foreign powers from manipulating future elections through its social network, Bloomberg reported.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company will add more than 250 people who deal with security and safety for the social network, and will more than double the team working on election integrity.
He also said the company would look for ways in which to work more closely with government officials for guidance on what to investigate in the weeks and months leading up to elections, the Bloomberg article stated.
This is key, because Facebook got a rude awakening following the 2016 presidential election, said security clearance attorney Catie Young. After President Donald Trump won the election, the federal government published information that a Russian agency had attempted to interfere in the political process using Facebook ads. Once that paper was published, Facebook connected the dots and identified players who had worked to manipulate the public in the election.
In September, Facebook acknowledged that the Russian government bought $100,000 in ads during the election, according to Fortune.
Having employees on staff who can access classified information could mean that Facebook is able to proactively search for questionable social media campaigns leading up to elections and identify nefarious entities early, instead of afterward when the damage has been done. The goal is to make Facebook more proactive in identifying threats to campaigns, said Sarah Frier of Bloomberg News.
Former military and civilian government and intelligence officials or contractors likely would be the ideal candidates for these jobs at Facebook. Their clearance status can be carried over into the private sector, provided their position continues to require access to sensitive information.
“Previously granted clearances become inactive when intelligence workers leave government employment, but they can be reactivated on Facebook’s behalf,” the Bloomberg article stated.
However, accessing classified information isn’t as simple as hiring employees who hold security clearance. Facebook must receive clearance approval from the federal government to access classified information.
In the interim, Facebook has taken other steps to crack down on the misuse of its ads by Russia and other countries. In October, Facebook announced plans to hire 1,000 additional people over the next year to review ads and ensure they meet the company’s terms, in an attempt to thwart efforts to interfere in elections, according to Reuters.