With terrorist recruitment and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race in the spotlight, Senate lawmakers grilled executives with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter on their companies efforts to keep America safe. (Jan. 17)
SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter says it’s exploring ways to notify millions of users if they were exposed to Russian propaganda.
The social media service is working to identify and inform individuals who saw tweets from Kremlin-linked accounts spreading disinformation and divisive messages during the 2016 presidential election, Twitter’s director of public policy Carlos Monje told lawmakers Wednesday.
The comments came during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in Washington. Executives from Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter were pressed to take a more aggressive approach to prevent the spread of terrorist content and violent extremism but also faced questions over how they police other content on their services including Russian propaganda.
After months of pushing Twitter to do the right thing, I’m encouraged the company will soon notify users who saw content from Kremlin-backed trolls. https://t.co/aefyqbn0FC
In December, Facebook launched a tool that shows users if they liked or followed fake Russian accounts spreading falsehoods on Facebook or Instagram. Nearly 150 million Facebook and Instagram users may have seen paid ads and organic posts distributed by the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) had requested that Facebook, Google and Twitter notify all users who may have been duped by the Russians. Monje was responding to questioning by Blumenthal. Twitter declined to comment.