Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.) will introduce a bipartisan bill Thursday meant to force digital companies to be more transparent about their advertising sales.
"I have a hard time understanding how you do legislation on social media platforms before you have them in for a hearing", Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican, told CNN on Thursday.
If lawmakers have anything to do with it, political ads on Facebook, Google, Twitter and other online platforms may soon be subject to the same disclosure requirements as traditional political advertising.
Facebook has turned over 3,000 paid political ads purchased by Russian-linked accounts to the House and Senate intelligence committees that which showed efforts to sow discord in the USA with posts on Black Lives Matter, gun rights and more.
"Russia attacked our elections" and will keep doing it if Congress doesn't act, Klobuchar said at a press conference announcing the legislation Thursday afternoon.
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Sarfraz Bugti said that Pakistan will take the war against terrorists and their facilitators to their ultimate conclusion. "We can not yet say that this is a suicide attack, our teams are in research and investigations at scene", Cheema said.
"We have to secure our election systems and we have to do it now - the next election is only 383 days away".
She said the legislation would require online platforms with more than 50 million average monthly users to "maintain a public file so people know what is in these ads". In that vain, federal lawmakers also seek to ensure that political ads on Facebook, Google and Twitter must have clear and conspicuous disclaimers saying who purchased them.
Facebook said in a statement from its USA public policy vice president, Erin Egan, that it stood "with lawmakers in their effort to achieve transparency in political advertising" and that it looked "forward to continuing the conversation with lawmakers as we work toward a legislative solution". "We recently learned that $100,000 was spent in [Russian] rubles on Facebook political ads during the 2016 election". He argued that the bill introduced Thursday was a "light touch" approach to regulating the social media companies.
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.
All three companies have been invited to testify publicly in front of the Senate Intel panel next month, and the House Intelligence Committee is working on its own open hearing on Russia's use of social media.
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It comes as economists are pencilling in the first rise in interest rates for a decade next month. While inflation may be at a five-and-a-half-year high, real wages continue to feel the squeeze.
But it's not yet clear how quickly the bill would move or if it has support among key Republicans. "What I understood they were trying to get at is already illegal: foreign money in United States elections".
"We stand with lawmakers in their effort to achieve transparency in political advertising".
It is illegal for foreign entities to make contributions in U.S. elections, but a lack of rules around online political advertising means the Russian ad activity could go mostly undetected.
It would also force advertisers spending a cumulative total of $500 or more on political ads to disclose their purchases. The account was identified by the RBC news outlet as one controlled by the Internet Research Agency, a troll farm reportedly funded through a company run by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, a confidant of President Vladimir Putin.
This controversial Anne Frank costume pulled after heavy criticism
The outfit was meant to be an inspirational costume which highlighted that " we can always learn from the struggles of history ". For instance, the Anne Frank costume for children that was widely available on HalloweenCostumes.com, until this weekend.