In 2018, former CIA analyst Yael Eisenstat went to work for Facebook as head of Global Elections Integrity Operations. She had worked in government for many years, including as a national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, but took a job at the tech giant as part of its effort to address election meddling with the hope of helping to address what she sees as our democracy’s “biggest existential threat”: the breakdown of civil discourse. The job did not turn out as planned, and the challenges, in her telling, remain vast.
I spoke to Eisenstat for the first episode of Slate’s new Friday-morning tech podcast, What Next: TBD. Below is a transcript of our interview, edited and condensed for clarity.