×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Senator Calls for More Information From Facebook, Twitter on Russian Influence on Election

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that Facebook’s revelation that Russian sources bought $100,000 in political ads on the platform may be just the “tip of the iceberg” when it came to attempts by a foreign power to influence American elections.

According to Reuters, Warner also said that he expected Twitter to brief congressional investigators on its own assessment of whether Russian sources used its platform to sway public opinion. Warner had been attending a national security conference in Washington, and later spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill.

On Wednesday, Facebook said that it had traced the purchase of about $100,000 worth of ads between 2015 and 2017 by firms linked to Russia, but that the spots were largely aimed at influencing divisive social issues, and not backing or opposing a particular candidate.

Still, Warner said that he wants to hear more from Facebook. “I have got a lot more questions to ask,” he told CNN.

He noted that “it pales in comparison to the fact that before the French election, Facebook took down 50,000 accounts.”

He also said that the Facebook revelation highlights the need for more disclosure when it comes to political advertising on social media.

“We have a First Amendment, we ought to protect it, but [Americans] ought to be able to know if content is being sponsored by foreign governments, and also, we ought to be able to look at that content no matter who is sponsoring it, if it is in a political context,” he said.

Meredith McGehee, chief of policy, programs, and strategy for the campaign and election reform group Issue One, said that, depending on the content of the ads, they could be in violation of federal election laws prohibiting foreign nationals from spending money to influence a U.S. election.

“If there was enough evidence of a violation, the FEC could open an investigation and subpoena the ads, and the Department of Justice also could have a role in a probe if there was evidence of a ‘knowing and willful’ violation,” she said in a statement.

More Politics

  • Michael Portillo Making ‘The Trouble With

    Michael Portillo Making ‘The Trouble With the Tory Party’ for Viacom’s Channel 5

    On the day that British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation plans, a prominent former politician has unveiled a two-part documentary about the troubles faced by her Conservative party. Michael Portillo is a former senior Conservative politician and leadership candidate. As the starting gun is sounded on a fresh leadership race, his documentary “Portillo: [...]

  • Twitter

    Twitter Permanently Bans Anti-Trump Krassenstein Brothers, Who Deny They Broke Platform's Rules

    Twitter permanently suspended the accounts of Ed and Brian Krassenstein — progressive political activists famous for trolling Donald Trump and his supporters — with the company alleging the brothers used bogus accounts to amplify their reach on the platform. “The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake [...]

  • Theresa May

    British Prime Minister Theresa May Announces Resignation

    British Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed she will step down as Conservative leader on June 7. She set the timetable for her resignation, Friday. It paves the way for a contest to decide on a new U.K. Prime Minister. She will remain as Prime Minister until a new leader is in position. The Prime [...]

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays

    Narendra Modi Wins New Mandate in Indian Election and Divides the Film Industry

    India has returned the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance coalition to power for a second term, with a huge mandate. In doing so, it polarized the film industry. The NDA won 351 seats out of a total of 542. The biggest democratic exercise in the world, more than 600 million Indians voted across six weeks. [...]

  • tammy brook

    FYI Brand Group Launches Social Impact Division

    FYI Brand Group, the music and fashion brand marketing and public relations firm founded by Tammy Brook, is launching a social impact division dedicated to campaigns centered around creating a call to action for social good. Organizations that have signed on to work with FYI include the American Cancer Society and Black Lives Matter; the [...]

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Jeff Daniels MSNBC

    Jeff Daniels Says 'It's the End of Democracy' if Trump Gets Re-Elected

    Jeff Daniels took a swipe at President Donald Trump and the GOP during an appearance on MSNBC on Monday. Daniels spoke with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC about his role as Atticus Finch in the Broadway production of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a story about racial politics and discrimination in 1930s Alabama, and spent the segment [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content