The Washington Post reported this week that some of the 3,000 Facebook ads bought by Russian operatives promoted African American rights groups, including Black Lives Matter. Those ads were targeted at users in specific locations such as Ferguson and Baltimore, two cities that have faced violent protests over police shootings of black men. Ads aimed at voters in other regions, meanwhile, suggested that the same groups pose a rising political threat.
Other ads featured Muslims supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton for president and were targeted at Facebook users who might fear Muslims.
Facebook, Google and Twitter are being summoned to a public hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Nov. 1.
…lawmakers and analysts criticized Twitter for appearing as if it had only accepted and looked into the data that it had received from Facebook, rather than conducting a broader internal investigation.
…Last week Warner and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) urged colleagues to support a bill that would create new transparency requirements for platforms that run political ads online, akin to those already in place for TV stations, according to a letter obtained by The Post. Lawmakers from across the political spectrum – from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex) – have called for more scrutiny into the market power of technology companies over the last few months.