Colin Stretch, general counsel for Facebook (left) testified in a Senate hearing on Tuesday that ads placed by a Russian propaganda arm continued after President Trump won the White House, and were 'targeted at fomenting discord about the validity of his election' The revelation that much of Facebook's Russia-influenced ad content aimed to undermine, not support, Trump runs against the grain of a prevailing narrative about Moscow trying to endure his victory over Hillary Clinton Sean Edgett, Twitter's acting general counsel, said his company 'saw similar activity.''On the advertising side, what was interesting was we saw the activity drop off after the election.
But these automated accounts continued.' 'The same is true for Google,' added Richard Salgado, the search engine behemoth's senior counsel.
The company also found 18 You Tube channels likely backed by Russian agents. The companies will almost certainly do what they can to convince lawmakers that they can fix the problem on their own, without the need for regulation.
Those channels hosted 1,108 videos with 43 hours of material, although they racked up just 309,000 views in the U. A bill unveiled earlier this month would require social media companies to keep public files of election ads and require companies to 'make reasonable efforts' to make sure that foreign individuals or entities are not purchasing political advertisements in order to influence Americans.
The White House said Tuesday that it's reserving judgment before weighing in on proposed disclosure requirements for large tech companies that sometimes operate more like public utilities than private corporations.'I think we need to see how this process works out over the next several days,' White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters, adding: 'That's not something that the federal government can weight in at this point until the finding of this investigation and the hearings are completed.' Stretch's testimony makes clear that many of Facebook's targeted users may never have seen the suspect material.
Google announced on Monday that it will also verify the identity of election-related ad buyers and identify these advertisers publicly via an ad icon.
The companies haven't commented on the proposed legislation, but say they're at work on the problem.
Last week Facebook said it will verify political ad buyers in federal elections and build transparency tools to link ads to the Facebook pages of their sponsors.
And Google announced in a blog post that it found evidence of 'limited' misuse of its services by the Russian group, as well as some You Tube channels that were likely backed by Russian agents.
Lawmakers have pressured the social media companies to come forward and have criticized them for not being fully forthcoming immediately after the election.