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Facebook funds Harvard effort to fight election hacking, propaganda

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LAS VEGAS, July 26 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc will provide initial funding of $500,000 for a nonprofit organization that aims to help protect political parties, voting systems and information providers from hackers and propaganda attacks, the world’s largest social network said on Wednesday.

The initiative, dubbed Defending Digital Democracy, is led by the former campaign chairs for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mitt Romney, and will initially be based at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, which announced the project last week.

Facebook said it hoped additional participants would turn it into a freestanding information-sharing center controlled by its members. Facebook, with two billion monthly users, bills itself as a vehicle for political debate and education, but was also used as a major platform to spread fake news and propaganda during the U.S. election campaign in 2016.

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