FILE - In this April 23, 2019, file photo, immigration activists rally outside the Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments over the Trump administration's plan to ask about citizenship on the 2020 Census, in Washington. Worried about internet trolls and foreign powers spreading false news, census officials are preparing to battle misinformation campaigns for the first time in the bureau’s 230-year history. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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

October 26, 2019 - 6:49 am

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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