Senate intelligence chairman plans hearing on Facebook

Senate intelligence chairman plans hearing on Facebook”

The Senate Intelligence Committee expects representatives of Facebook Inc to testify at a public hearing examining Russia's use of social media to influence last year's USA presidential election.

Senator Richard Burr, Republican-North Carolina, said on Tuesday that committee members agreed the panel should hold a public hearing after it was revealed earlier this month that hundreds of phony Facebook accounts, likely run from Russian Federation, spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up divisive issues such as gun control and race relations during the 2016 campaign. "It's just a question of when and potentially the scope".

Mueller is trying to determine whether there were any links between Russia's activity and President Donald Trump's election campaign.

The Federal Election Commission last week sought public comment on possible regulatory changes, and the commission is considering holding a public hearing, with Facebook and other tech companies as invited witnesses.

Earlier this month, Facebook disclosed it had sold about $100,000 in ads to Russian troll farms connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts.

In addition to Facebook, Warner has expressed an interest in bringing Twitter officials into the committee to discuss Russian efforts to influence the election on that social media platform.

Asked if he was planning to bring Facebook executives to the committee, the North Carolina Republican said it would be "an invitation to a lot of folks on social media platforms".

Facebook has said it is working with USA authorities who are investigating alleged Russian meddling and also taking steps, such as removing fake accounts, to prevent manipulation of its platform. Facebook marketing is becoming increasingly important for election strategy, but social media ads are not legally required to provide the same transparency as ads that run on more traditional forums like television.

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