WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) questioned key officials from Twitter, Google and Facebook during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on social media influence in the 2016 U.S. elections. The hearing was the latest in a series of hearings that focus on Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. The witnesses addressed social media influence in the 2016 U.S. elections and what steps they are taking to mitigate foreign interference in the 2018 election cycle and beyond.
During Senator Heinrich’s questioning, Facebook Vice President and General Counsel Colin Stretch confirmed that the revelation that Russia purchased Facebook advertisements during the 2016 election was not a hoax—despite President Trump claiming it was last month. Senator Heinrich also pressed the tech company executives on releasing the content of Russian-financed ads to the public and increasing transparency.
Last month, Senator Heinrich led a letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) urging the agency to consider new rules that would prevent foreign nationals from using online advertising platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to influence U.S. elections.
Testimony, a list of witnesses, and the entire webcast of today's hearing will be available here.