Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Spark Major FEC Debate
"Time is of the essence here with the revelation that there is foreign interference from the Russians, and there could be from others as well, on these online ad platforms like Facebook," Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., told the Washington Examiner. "We have to make sure there's guidelines in place, best practices that the industry understands they need to deploy quickly so foreign interference can be caught before the next election cycle." ... Sarbanes was one of the 20 Democrats who sent the letter to the FEC asking the agency to develop guidelines for online advertising platforms.... The Maryland Democrat believes the FEC has been slow to respond to the spending that's occurring with campaigns, which he attributed to gridlock among the commissioners and an unwillingness to engage.... But the conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, and the growing role that companies such as Twitter and Facebook played with providing Russian actors with a platform to spread political ads and fake news, could spur action from the commission, Sarbanes said.... "Here's the opportunity for the FEC to have its moment of glory, to come together, address in a neutral, nonpartisan way the threat that's coming from outside the country," he said. "Nothing could be more patriotic than that. This could be the FEC's finest hour, and that's what we're encouraging them to do, is stand up and say this isn't about Republicans or Democrats or Independents. This is about our election process, the bedrock of our democracy, and making sure that is protected."