The Interface - Issue #9

Revue
 
Today was a milestone in the story of Facebook and democracy, as a bipartisan group of senators intro
 

The Interface

October 19 · Issue #9 · View online
An evening newsletter about Facebook, social networks, and democracy.

Today was a milestone in the story of Facebook and democracy, as a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation intended to regulate its unpredictable effect on US elections. Speaking to reporters in Washington, Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner made the case for new regulations on paid political advertising on giant tech platforms.
Tony Romm at Recode gives us the gist:
For campaigns that seek to spend more than $500 on total political ads, tech and ad platforms would have to make new data about the ads available for public viewing. That includes copies of ads, as well as information about the organizations that purchased it, the audiences the ads might have targeted and how much they cost.
The new online ad disclosure rules would cover everything from promoted tweets and sponsored content to search and display advertising. And it includes ads on behalf of a candidate as well as those focused on legislative issues of national importance, according to a copy of the bill.
During the introduction of the bill, which was live-streamed on YouTube and on Facebook, the senators said that the provisions largely mirrored existing regulations for political advertising. 
But the bill faces an uphill battle. Despite support from Republican Sen. John McCain, who co-sponsored the legislation, there are as yet no other Republicans backing the measure. And the president seems rather … un-inclined to support it. Still, as you’ll see below, tech company lobbyists are scrambling the jets. It appears that the bill calls for a level of transparency they’re uncomfortable with — and you can expect them to fight for changes, at the very least. 
In the meantime, they’re sending me anodyne statements about their support for transparency.
Twitter: “We look forward to engaging with Congress and the FEC on these issues.”
Google: “We support efforts to improve transparency, enhance disclosures, and reduce foreign abuse. We’re evaluating steps we can take on our own platforms and will work closely with lawmakers, the FEC, and the industry to explore the best solutions.”
Facebook vice president of US public policy Erin Egan: “We stand with lawmakers in their effort to achieve transparency in political advertising. We have already announced the steps Facebook will take on our own and we look forward to continuing the conversation with lawmakers as we work toward a legislative solution.” 
On to the links.

Democracy
Facebook's General Counsel to Testify to Congress in Russia Probe
Senators Demand Online Ad Disclosures as Tech Lobby Mobilizes
George W. Bush has thoughts on fake news
Facebook Wants To Help Secure The Next Canadian Federal Election
Trump Campaign Staffers Pushed Russian Propaganda Days Before the Election
Everyone’s Mad at Google and Sundar Pichai Has to Fix It
In Italian Schools, Reading, Writing and Recognizing Fake News
Takes
Congress's New Bill Can't Eliminate Russian Influence Online
Longread
When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy
Satire
How Fake News Led President Trump To Believe ‘Semi-Charmed Life’ Was By Matchbox 20
Launches
Twitter announces new steps to reduce abuse
Facebook and Apple can’t agree on terms, so Facebook’s subscription tool will only launch on Android phones
Facebook Messenger lets games monetize with purchases and ads
Hires
Tech giants studying artificial intelligence are enlisting an Obama veteran as their new leader
Elsewhere
Twitter Tested, And Scrapped, An Algorithm That Filled Timelines With Very Old Tweets
And finally
Moscow company sells Instagram photo shoots on grounded private jets
Talk to me
Is this useful? Did I forget something? Did I make a mistake? (Making mistakes is the worst, because you can’t edit emails you’ve already sent out!) Tips and comments to casey@theverge.com!
Did you enjoy this issue?
Thumbs up 1ae5a7bdfcd3220e2b376aa0c1607bc5edaba758e5dd83b482d03965219a220b Thumbs down e13779fa29e2935b47488fb8f82977fedcf689a0cc0cc3c19fa3c6bb14d1493b
Carefully curated by Casey Newton with Revue.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.