The Latest: Warner eyes social-media political-ad regulation
Sep. 21, 2017
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Facebook and the Russia investigation (all times local):
The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel says he is pleased with Facebook's announcement that the company is going to provide Congress with thousands of ads bought by Russians and increase transparency.
But he's still planning legislation to prevent foreign election interference in social media.
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is writing a bill that would require social media companies to disclose who funded political ads, similar to television broadcasters. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that the company would require similar disclosures.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Warner said he hoped to work with social media companies on the bill.
Warner said that once the committee has the ads, his panel will find a way to "guarantee privacy protections and then share it with the American public."
The top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence panels are praising Facebook's decision to provide thousands of ads bought by a Russian agency to Congress.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia say the contents of the ads will aid them in their investigations of Russian interference in U.S. elections, but also that the move is just a first step. Both lawmakers have said they want the company and other social media outlets to testify in open hearings.
Senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., has also called for the company to testify.
Schiff said his panel should also scrutinize "how rigorous Facebook's internal investigation has been."
Warner tweeted that Americans "deserve to know the truth about Russia's interference in the 2016 election."
Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will make political advertising more transparent.
"When someone buys political ads on TV or other media, they're required by law to disclose who paid for them. But you still don't know if you're seeing the same messages as everyone else," the Facebook CEO wrote in a post .
Zuckerberg just announced that Facebook will provide 3,000 ads, created by fake accounts linked to Russia, to Congress.
Going forward, political ads will have to link to the Facebook page that bought the ad. And users will have to be able to visit the page and see all the ads they are currently running to any audience on Facebook.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that while his company is cooperating with the Russia investigation, no one should expect it to intercept all undesirable material before it hits its social network.
"I'm not going to sit here and tell you we're going to catch all bad content in our system. We don't check what people say before they say it, and frankly, I don't think our society shouldn't want us to," Zuckerberg said. "If you break our community standards or the law, then you're going to face consequences afterwards."
He added: "We won't catch everyone immediately, but we can make it harder to try to interfere."
But Zuckerberg hinted that the company may not provide much information publicly, saying that the fact that his company is a part of the federal investigation would limit what he can reveal.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company is "actively working" with the U.S. government on its ongoing investigations into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.
Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post and live video on Thursday that he has directed his team to provide 3,000 ads, created by fake accounts linked to Russia, to Congress.
"We support Congress in deciding how to best use this information to inform the public, and we expect the government to publish its findings when their investigation is complete," Zuckerberg wrote.
Facebook says the company will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators.
The move Thursday comes as the company has faced growing pressure from members of Congress to release the content of the ads. Facebook had already released the ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee have been seeking to bring Facebook executives before their committee since the company first revealed the existence of the ads two weeks ago.
But critics say Facebook should go further. They say the company should tell its users how they might have been influenced by outside meddlers.