Facebook, in a series of disclosures over two months, has said that people in Russian Federation bought at least 3,000 US political ads and published another 80,000 Facebook posts that were seen by as many as 126 million Americans over two years.
While standing before a Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, lawyers for Google, Facebook, and Twitter said while they are working to be more transparent about online ads.
"You created these platforms and now they are being misused".
Senators were not impressed the big tech companies sent their general counsels to three hearings this week and called on the companies to be tougher in the face of national security threats. "The first part of this year, we pointed out entire engineering, product and design team on tackling the issues of information quality, abuse of our systems and protecting our users".
Sen. Ron Wyden said, "We'd like to walk out of here knowing the changes you're going to support".
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This ad, sponsored by a fake group called Army of Jesus, called Clinton a Satan whose "crimes and lies had proved just how evil she is".
Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel; Kent Walker, Google's general counsel; and Sean Edgett, Twitter's general counsel will all offer testimony and answer questions. That's on top of 3,000 content reviewers Facebook said it would hire to police violent videos.
At the same time, the lawyers stressed that the problem of Russia's meddling went beyond their companies and would require help from Congress and from other industries. Facebook had previously disclosed that 126 million accounts were served that content on Facebook.
King, who called Russia's influence online a "sophisticated worldwide strategy", used information compiled by Alliance for Securing Democracy to show that Russian Federation continues to try and interfere in American discourse by propagating hashtags related to President Donald Trump's attacks on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, Trump's catchphrase "MAGA", and the ongoing conflict in Syria.
The Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman explained that Russians organized a Heart of Texas rally and a concurrent United Muslims of America counterprotest on the same day at the same location in Houston.