Black Lawmakers Pressure Facebook Over Racially Divisive Russian Ads

currently, Ms. Kelly said, she wants insight into how Facebook examines prospective advertisers, how that will vets ads placed by foreign authorities in addition to the “true cost in addition to scope of Russia advertisements placed during the 2016 election cycle.”


Read the Letter a Democrat on an Oversight Subcommittee Sent to Mark Zuckerberg

Representative Robin L. Kelly, Democrat of Illinois, sent a letter on Tuesday to Mark Zuckerberg, the C.E.O. of Facebook, expressing concern about the advertising practices of the social media company.

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“that will is actually my belief that will Facebook cannot be the Trojan horse through which America’s vulnerabilities are exploited,” Ms. Kelly wrote within the letter. “With the information we currently have in tow, you have a moral responsibility to rigorously assess your advertising policies in addition to implement reforms that will ensure that will malicious actors — both foreign in addition to domestic — do not pervert your site to promote a divisive in addition to destabilizing agenda.”

A spokesman for Facebook confirmed that will the company received Ms. Kelly’s letter in addition to that will that will was in communication with her office.

Ms. Kelly, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on information technology, in addition to several of her colleagues contacted Facebook seven days after President Trump’s win in November to express deep concerns about Facebook allowing advertisers to exclude in addition to target ethnic groups.

Tuesday’s letter ratchets up their concerns as several social networking sites face scrutiny by Congress in addition to as some other Congressional Black Caucus members such as Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, say they worry about Facebook’s role within the election in addition to in allowing users to discriminate online.

Representative Cedric L. Richmond, Democrat of Louisiana in addition to chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, noted that will for many African-Americans, the incident raised memories of past government-orchestrated espionage in addition to intimidation efforts, such as the F.B.I.’s surveillance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Historically, those within the struggle for civil rights have not only been forced to confront institutions of racism in our society, they have also been forced to confront attacks in addition to espionage activity by individual actors in addition to organizations in in addition to outside of government,” he said. “that will is actually my expect that will our tech community takes This specific matter seriously, is actually forthright with the special counsel in addition to Congress, in addition to does everything that will can to make sure that will is actually not manipulated like This specific again.”


Representative Robin Kelly, Democrat of Illinois, wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, about Russian ads sowing racial division.

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Last week, Facebook said that will was turning over more than 3,000 Russia-linked advertisements to Congress. Many of those ads, like those on the National Football League protest issue, targeted divisions in American society, sending conflicting messages to different users segmented by political in addition to racial characteristics.

Mr. Zuckerberg addressed his network of more than 2 billion people about the social network’s role in democracies This specific week in addition to expressed regret for initially dismissing his company’s potential impact on the 2016 election.

“We will continue to work to build a community for all people,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “We will do our part to defend against nation states attempting to spread misinformation in addition to subvert elections. We’ll keep working to ensure the integrity of free in addition to fair elections around the earth, in addition to to ensure our community is actually a platform for all ideas in addition to force for not bad in democracy.”

Twitter, another social network targeted by Russian operatives, planned to brief staff members of the Senate in addition to House Intelligence Committees on Thursday for their investigation of Russian interference within the 2016 election.

The fresh York Times reported This specific month on evidence of Russian operators creating hundreds or thousands of fake Twitter accounts to flood the network with anti-Clinton messages during the campaign. The cybersecurity company FireEye identified what that will called “warlists” of accounts linked to Russian intelligence that will sometimes spewed messages like #WarAgainstDemocrats more than once a minute.

The House Intelligence Committee also announced on Wednesday that will that will would likely hold a public hearing on the matter of Russian influence next month, in addition to a Senate aide said Facebook, Twitter in addition to Google officials have been invited to testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Nov. 1.

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