Facebook, Google accused of setting up anti-refugee ads during U.S. election

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And tech giants would lastly have to employ "reasonable efforts" to ensure that foreign governments and their agents - from Russian Federation or elsewhere - are not purchasing political ads on their platforms.

The Honest Ads Act would require social media and internet companies who have more than a set number of users (a figure in the tens of millions) to make public detailed information about any political advertiser who spent just a few thousand dollars on their platforms, according to two people briefed on the bill.

Last month, Facebook said it had identified about 3,000 ads linked to Russian sources, representing about $100,000 in ad spending from June 2015 to May 2017. Not all lawmakers share Warner's interest in Russia's activities on social media, and Republicans generally have dismissed federal probes into the Kremlin's activities during the 2016 presidential election.

While televised political ads require disclosure of who paid for them, there are no such requirements for social media networks.

Tech companies have been resistant to past attempts to regulate them, and Warner previously has been critical of social media platforms' slowness to cooperate with the Russian Federation investigation underway at Senate Intelligence Committee, which he vice-chairs.

On October 19, Facebook and Twitter said they would send their general counsels to testify on November 1 before two Congressional panels investigating Russian meddling.

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But it's not yet clear how quickly the bill would move or if it has support among key Republicans.

"In 2016 Russians bought online political ads created to influence our election and divide Americans", the lawmakers wrote in a Wednesday press release. "Well, now we're at $1.4 billion", she said. You can thank them for things like the awkward "I'm so and so and I approve this message" statements at the end of political TV ads. "I operate on what I believe in, and if people agree, then they agree". The company's high-profile Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will not appear.

"The Honest Ads Act would prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite".

Klobuchar said the exemption has become a far bigger problem over time, allowing foreign governments and bad actors to hide their efforts online - even paying for ads in Russian rubles.

The senators said this was a first step, light touch action, targeted specifically towards purchasers of online political ads and wouldn't put restrictions on individuals' abilities to express themselves through, Klobuchar said, "cat videos.or cat videos about Donald Trump". The effort comes as Congress continues to investigate highly-targeted foreign propaganda during the 2016 campaign, which reached, by some estimates, tens of millions of Americans via Facebook alone. The ads appear to have come from a Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency, according to Facebook.

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