The Washington Post reports:
A bipartisan panel of U.S. senators Tuesday called for sweeping action by Congress, the White House and Silicon Valley to ensure social-media sites aren’t used to interfere in the coming presidential election, delivering a sobering assessment about the weaknesses that Russian operatives exploited in the 2016 campaign.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating foreign electoral interference for more than two and a half years, said in blunt language that Russians worked to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton while bolstering Republican Donald Trump — and made clear that fresh rounds of interference are likely ahead of the 2020 vote.
In response, Democratic and Republican lawmakers urged their peers in Congress to act, exploring the adoption of new regulations that would make political ads more transparent. They also called on the White House and the executive branch to adopt a more forceful, public role, warning Americans about the ways in which dangerous misinformation can spread while creating new teams within the U.S. government to monitor for threats and share intelligence with industry.
The Hill reports:
The committee in the report focused on Russia’s use of social media to influence the 2016 election, led by the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency (IRA).
“The Committee found that IRA social media activity was overtly and almost invariably supportive of then-candidate Trump to the detriment of Secretary Clinton’s campaign,” according to the release.
The committee found, among other things, that the IRA activity on social media specifically targeted African American voters and spiked after the 2016 election concluded.