Sen. Bernie Sanders has criticized Senate Republicans and laid into Facebook for allowing foreign powers like Russia to keep meddling in our elections. Former White House Senior adviser David Plouffe blows kisses at the White House, April 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Oct. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’, Sept. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday criticized Senate Republicans for not approving election security measures passed by the House and laid into Facebook and other tech companies for allowing foreign powers like Russia to meddle in our elections.
Responding to the alleged Russian hack of the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment inquiry, Sanders said he’s alarmed at Russia’s continuing meddling, and Facebook is helping it to happen.
“The 2020 election is likely to be the most consequential election in modern American history,” Sanders said in a statement, according to The Hill.
“After our intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including with thousands of paid ads on Facebook, the New York Times now reports that Russia likely represents the biggest threat of election meddling in 2020, including through disinformation campaigns, promoting hatred, hacking into voting systems, and by exploiting the political divisions sewn by Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, has shown again and again his total disinterest in taking even basic steps to stand up to Russian interference.”
Facebook recklessly continues enabling and profiting from election interference through advertising that contains lies and misleading information, Sanders said:
“Facebook can help us come together as people despite our differences, but Facebook and other tech companies have become so powerful and so greedy that they seem willing to allow foreign powers like Russia continue to meddle in our elections so long as it helps their bottom line,” Sanders said.
In September 2019, Facebook changed its rules to allow politicians to lie. President Donald Trump spent more than $1.5 million, launching an ad containing information deemed false by Facebook’s own fact-checkers, but that’s OK, Facebook said.
In the ad, Trump attacked Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying: “Joe Biden promised Ukraine $1 billion dollars if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company.”
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with Trump at the White House on Sept. 17. Zuckerberg was in U.S. regulators’ crosshairs. The Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5 billion in July over its privacy policies and started an antitrust investigation.
Trump has criticized Facebook for favoring Democrats and what he views as anti-conservative bias, bundling Zuckerberg’s company in with other huge tech companies.
Former Barack Obama 2008 campaign mastermind and aide David Plouffe went on to work for the Silicon Valley swamp as senior vice president of policy and strategy at Uber. Then he joined Facebook’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where he led policy and advocacy efforts.
Plouffe is also on the 15-member volunteer board of the Obama Foundation.