'It's a fine target': Census bureau to fight misinformation

Posted at 8:07 AM, Oct 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-26 11:07:48-04

CHICAGO (AP) - Census officials are preparing to battle the spread of fake news by internet trolls and foreign powers for the first time in the count's 230-year history.

The stakes are huge. Who participates in the 2020 census count could influence how U.S. congressional seats and billions of federal tax dollars to educate children, help low-income families and pave new roads are divvied up.

"It's a fine target," former U.S. Census Bureau director John Thompson said of the form, which is sent every decade to households in America to count the population. "If you want to disrupt a democracy, you can certainly go about it by disrupting a census."

Facebook and Twitter said they will use a mix of people and artificial intelligence to spot, review and remove troublesome posts.

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