Mark Warner: “Congress Needs To Pass Legislation To Police Social-Media Ad Buys”

Thursday, September 7, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Sep 7, 2017

Following Facebook’s “bombshell” revelation last night that Russian-backed entities purchased more than $100,000 in political advertising on its platform, Congressional Democrats and their compatriots in the “resistance” have been howling that the company’s admission represents incontrovertible proof that Russia successfully managed to sway the US presidential election.

Setting aside the fact that such claims are laughable on their face, Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is saying that Congress should pass legislation requiring Facebook and other social media companies to crack down on ad buys by foreign entities to prevent foreign adversaries from manipulating the social media feeds of U.S. citizens, possibly swaying the outcome of future elections, according to CNN.

“Americans ought to be able to know if there is foreign-sponsored content” affecting their social media feeds, Warner says. “This is brand new”

Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that it sold about $100,000 in political advertising – which paid for about 3,000 ads – to Russian troll farms between June 2015 to May 2017.

However, Warner said that he heard a different story from the social media giant during the 2016 election.

“It appeared to me that the very social media sites that we rely on for virtually everything – our Facebooks, Googles and Twitters – it was my belief the Russians were using those sites to intervene in our elections,” Warner said Thursday, speaking at the Intelligence & National Security Summit in Washington. “And the first reaction from Facebook was: ‘Well you’re crazy, there’s nothing going on’ – well, we find yesterday there actually was something going on.”

Warner cited what Russia did in the 2016 election as an example of how foreign adversaries can use social media to influence US policy and elections.

Specifically, Warner suggested that Congress could require disclosure requirements on social media advertising similar to those for television commercials.

“An American can still figure out what content is being used on TV advertising. … But in social media there’s no such requirement,” Warner said. “There may be a reform process here. I actually think the social media companies would not oppose, because I think Americans, particularly when it comes to elections, ought to be able to know if there is foreign-sponsored content coming into their electoral process.”

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