Facebook has announced it will invest $500,000 in a Harvard-based nonprofit that aims to protect future elections from election hacking and foreign interference.
The initiative, called the Defending Digital Democracy Project, was launched last week by Robby Mook and Matt Rhoades, the former campaign chiefs for Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, respectively.
Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos announced the social media company's investment at the start of the Black Hat information security conference Wednesday.
Stamos told conference attendees Facebook's funding will be used to build an information sharing and analysis organization that brings together stakeholders in "various critical areas of the democratic process," including political parties, campaigns, state and local election officials, and tech companies.
"Our goal is for these groups to assist each other and share information directly to build greater resiliency into our elections," Stamos said.
The information sharing unit will be based on a similar model tech companies use to share information on terror threats and child exploitation.
The Defending Digital Democracy Project, though, wants to include information from both tech companies and election officials.
Facebook's participation in the new bipartisan project comes after the company's security team issued a report in April explaining how the social media site was used during the 2016 campaign to spread misinformation "with the intent of harming the reputation of specific political targets."
The Defending Digital Democracy Project is based at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and includes experts from the national security community, technology companies, and academia.
The new nonprofit aims to help Republican and Democratic campaigns, voting systems, and information providers protect against cyber intrusions.