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Congressional Action Against Facebook Gains Momentum

Congressional Action Against Facebook Gains Momentum
(Jaap Arriens/AP)

By    |   Monday, 18 September 2017 11:21 AM

Possible legislative action against Facebook and other tech giants is gaining momentum as a potentially important issue in the 2018 midterm elections, as both Republicans and Democrats have declared that more scrutiny, transparency and restrictions are needed, Axios reported on Monday.

The criticism of the companies has become more pronounced since revelations about paid Russian propaganda on Facebook during last year's election.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told ABC's "This Week" that he has called on social media and search engine companies to testify before Congress.

He said he is "distressed that it's taking this long to be informed that the Russians had paid for at least $100,000 of ads designed to try to influence our electoral process."

Schiff added that the committee had requested more information from Facebook about the matter, but there were still "a lot of unanswered questions."

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, who is vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said it may be time to pass legislation requiring social-media companies to disclose the sources of campaign-related ads, and that he wanted to see "the back end" of Facebook's ad operations during the election, Business Insider reported.

He called the revelation of the Facebook ads only "the tip of the iceberg."

Republicans also are pressing the issue and are likely to emphasize national security concerns to rein in the tech companies, especially since the populist right in Trump's base views these companies in a negative light for favoring open border and liberal social policies, according to Axios.

GOP politicians also have reportedly started to consult experts to figure out the best way Congress could act against these companies.

For its part, Facebook is apparently trying to avoid unpopularity and thus is unlikely to oppose all legislation, instead attempting to gently steer proposals in a direction that would cause them the least harm, Axios reported.

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Possible legislative action against Facebook and other tech giants is gaining momentum as a potentially important issue in the 2018 midterm elections, as both Republicans and Democrats have declared that more scrutiny, transparency and restrictions are needed, Axios...
congressional, action, facebook, momentum
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2017-21-18
Monday, 18 September 2017 11:21 AM
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