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Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook today will announce a partnership with the Atlantic Council aimed at helping deter manipulation of the platform during elections around the world.

Why it matters: About 87% of Facebook’s user base is outside the U.S., so the opportunity for election manipulation around the world is massive. And platform manipulation in those countries can be even harder to manage, because of language and cultural barriers. 

The details: "Experts from [Facebook's] Digital Forensic Research Lab will work closely with our security, policy and product teams to get Facebook real-time insights ... on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns."

  • The plan is to focus on specific geographic areas, "monitoring for misinformation and foreign interference and also working to help educate citizens."

What they're saying: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a point during his call with reporters in April and to lawmakers during his congressional hearings to emphasize the fact that Facebook sees election integrity as a global effort.

Elections ahead: Mexico, July 1; Pakistan, July 15; Brazil, Oct. 7; U.S., Nov. 6.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
42 mins ago - Economy & Business

SoftBank and StubHub vets form new SPAC

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Jeffrey Housenbold, who recently stepped down as a managing partner of SoftBank Vision Fund, has formed a new SPAC with Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, who was president of ticket resale firm StubHub until it was acquired last year by Viagogo.

Why it matters: The death of SPACs has been greatly exaggerated.

59 mins ago - World

U.K. government sets out agenda in first COVID-era Queen's Speech

Queen Elizabeth II walks behind the Imperial State Crown in the Royal Gallery of Parliament. Photo: Richard Pohle/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II laid out the U.K. government's agenda at the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday, marking the first Queen's Speech since the pandemic began and her first major public appearance since the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

Why it matters: In a pared-back ceremony, the queen set out Prime Minister Boris Johnson's vision for recovering from a pandemic that inflicted the worst death toll in Europe and worst recession in 300 years.

The ransomware pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"We are on the cusp of a global pandemic," said Christopher Krebs, the first director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told Congress last week. The virus causing the pandemic isn't biological, however. It's software.

Why it matters: Crippling a major U.S. oil pipeline this weekend initially looked like an act of war — but it's now looking like an increasingly normal crime, bought off-the-shelf from a "ransomware as a service" provider known as DarkSide.