Mobile Menu - Open Mobile Menu - Closed

Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

Facebook Faces Growing Pressure Over Russia’s Use in Election

Sep 20, 2017
In The News

On Wednesday, a group of Democrats sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission saying more transparency is needed for Facebook and other social media networks when it comes to political spending…. "We must address the threat posed by foreign citizens, companies, or organizations who aim to interfere with our political process," Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland wrote in a letter. It was also signed by Elijah Cummings and John Conyers, the ranking Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committees, and Democratic Senators Martin Heinrich and Ron Wyden, both members of the Intelligence Committee…. Sarbanes wants the FEC to follow up with new rules requiring disclosure for political ads on social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter Inc., so they are as transparent as broadcast ads…. "It just raises the issue of who’s spending what in our elections and what negative impact it is having,” he said in an interview, noting Facebook’s Russia disclosures…. He said the FEC has existing authority to do this and can act without a new law, although the letter asks the FEC for guidance on whether new legislation would be appropriate…. "Their mission is to protect the integrity of our elections," he said, urging them to move quickly so rules are in place ahead of the 2018 elections, given the potential for additional attempts at foreign interference…. "There has to be teeth," he said. "But you can’t impose penalties without standards and guidelines. That’s the first piece."