The hue and cry about Russia and the influence on our Presidential election is full of misleading and contradictory facts. Most experts agree that Russians did try to buy some influence in the election. Most parties are sure that they did not succeed in changing actual votes, intended votes, or otherwise changing the outcome. What has been revealed is the big hole in the high-tech industries like Facebook, that need to be regulated. Here is what happened and what needs to be fixed.
As Written By Jazz Shaw for Hot Air:
So how did the Russians spoil the last election? Some of the original suspicions of Vladimir Putin hacking into the electoral system and changing the vote totals don’t seem to have panned out. But they were definitely… “involved.” How so? Some combination of fake news, fake social media users and very real advertisements. This, I’ve been assured, is something we all need to be worried about and take whatever measures are practical to stop. Fair enough. But we’ll need to figure out exactly who we’re dealing with and what their crimes were.
Amy Klobuchar published an op-ed at the Washington Post this week where she claims to have some answers. She begins with the story of Melvin Redick, a politically engaged patriot and dad from Pennsylvania who was active on Facebook during the last election. Except that Melvin turned out to be a Russian bot. A fake account. For what it’s worth he might have fooled me too.
From there, Klobuchar moves on to a related topic with a bit more meat on the bone. It’s the question of foreign actors using foreign currency to purchase political advertisements (as opposed to personal updates and opinion pieces) on social media platforms.
It is illegal for foreign entities to buy political ads in the United States. But that didn’t stop the purchase of thousands of political ads on Facebook, paid for — in rubles — by foreigners.
The reason is simple and scary: Our campaign finance laws have left open an enormous loophole for foreign actors to secretly violate our campaign finance laws and possibly influence our elections. It’s time we update the laws so that online platforms are held to the same transparency standards as other companies that sell………
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