Facebook has hired former White House official Nathaniel Gleicher as its first-ever head of cyber-security policy.
The hire, first revealed by cybersecurity publication Cyberscoop, has been confirmed by Facebook, and according to Gleicher's LinkedIn profile, he joined the company earlier this month.
Gleicher has worked at the US Department of Justice's criminal division, and combined this with the role of director of cyber-security policy of the National Security Council within The White House. He then moved to the private sector with Illumio in December 2015, his last role before being recruited by Facebook.
Facebook has had several people working within cybersecurity policy before, but the hire of Gleicher in this new position signals the company's intent to focus on expanding its cyber-security efforts after struggling to contain hate speech on its platform and the spread of so-called 'fake news'.
Groups linked to Russian intelligence agencies were reportedly able to manipulate Facebook social media feeds during the 2016 US presidential election to propagate disharmony with American citizens. However, days after the election of President Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the idea that his company might have been used by Russian trolls to influence the outcome as "crazy".
In September, Facebook suspended 470 accounts linked to an alleged Russian campaign of disinformation, intended to influence US public opinion. Last week, the social media giant said that it would overhaul its news feed so that ‘trusted' news sources would be promoted. This week, the company bought Confirm, a start-up that authenticates user identities.
The company has also introduced machine learning and human-based detection techniques in an attempt to root out offensive material, fake news and false accounts.
However, Facebook continues to insist that it is not a media company and therefore is not responsible of editorial content that it hosts.
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