Facebook, Twitter lawyers to testify in Congress on Russia meddling

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 19, 2017

Facebook and Twitter said on Wednesday that they are open to working with lawmakers on the matter. To varying degrees, each of those major online platforms already has found some evidence of the Kremlin's meddling - and in many cases, Russian agents sought to sow social unrest through divisive, misleading advertisements that touched on racial and religions issues.

Citing internal ad agency reports and five sources involved with the campaign, the Bloomberg report says the test was part of larger competition between Facebook and Google for several millions ad dollars from Secure America Now, which ran "a mix of anti-Hillary Clinton and anti-Islam messages" targeting swing-state voters during the final days of the election.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mark Warner, D-Va., will announce a bill Thursday aiming to rein in political ads on platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter.

In that vain, federal lawmakers also seek to ensure that political ads on Facebook, Google and Twitter must have clear and conspicuous disclaimers saying who purchased them. The Honest Ads Act aims to extend rules governing political ads on TV and radio to the web.

"It's important that Facebook is a place where people with different views can share their ideas", wrote Mark Zuckerberg following the violent "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.

Last month, after US regulators and criminal investigators began looking at the Russia-linked ads, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said his company would take several voluntary steps to make political ads more transparent, such as allowing anyone to seem them no matter whom they target.

The measure would put internet and digital ads under the definition of electioneering communications that now includes traditional media, according to Axios.

Requiring digital platforms to keep public records of electioneering communications above certain levels. That includes copies of those ads, as well as information about the organizations that purchased it, the audiences the ad might have targeted and how much it cost.

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