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Senate Intel committee calls on Facebook to release Russian ads

Senate Intel committee calls on Facebook to release Russian ads
From TechCrunch - October 4, 2017

In an update on the progress of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the Senate Intelligence Committee weighed in on recent revelations that have implicated major tech companies. The committee plans to hear open public testimony from Facebook, Twitter and Google on November 1 pertaining to their role in selling political ads to Russian government entities and fostering an environment in which shadowy foreign-funded political propaganda efforts could thrive.

According to the Chairman Richard Burr, it took time for tech leaders to warm up to the notion that they were responsible for influence campaigns run on their platforms. I was concerned at first that some social media platforms did not take this thread seriously enough, Burr said. The three companies weve invited, Google, Twitter and Facebook, will appear in a public hearing.

Burr made it clear that his committee could not release the ads that Facebook handed over as part of the investigation but Facebook and the other companies are not constrained by the committee from doing so.

We dont release documents provided by to our committee, period, Burr said. [Its] not a practice that were going to get into. Clearly if any of the social media platforms would like to do that, were fine with them doing it because weve already got scheduled an open hearing. We believe that the american people deserve to know firsthand.

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner echoed Burrs statement.

There will be more forensics done by these companies, Warner said. I think theyve got some more work to do and Im pleased to say I think theyre out doing that work now.

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