After Russian meddling, Google and Facebook shift their stance on a crucial issue for voters

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Facebook and Google told federal election officials they are open to greater oversight over the lucrative business of online political advertising, a shift for the tech giants who acknowledged recently that their ad platforms were exploited by Russian operatives during and after the 2016 election. Google even took a step further than its rivals telling regulators that they should create a broad rule that would ban foreign entities from buying any kind of political ad aimed at influencing voters, not just the ones that mention candidates. Russian operatives generated and published "issue" ads on Facebook far more frequently than those that explicitly promoted candidates. Many of the issue ads sought to divide American society over politically charged topics such as immigration, Black Lives Matter, and gun rights. Facebook did not offer a position on issue-based ads to election officials, despite its admission that 90 percent of the Russian-bought content that ran on its network did not mention Clinton or Trump. The comments were submitted to the Federal Election Commission as the agency considers new disclosure requirements for online advertisements. The discussion process at the FEC comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing their own proposal to boost the transparency of digital ads, and as Silicon Valley faces heightened scrutiny in Washington.


After Russian meddling, Google and Facebook shift their stance on a crucial issue for voters