Facebook, Twitter may testify before US Congress

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Facebook did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment early Tuesday morning, but an unnamed spokesperson told the Daily Beast that the company had "shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown we described last week". Secured Borders organized one such protest, "Citizens before refugees", which was slated for August 27, 2016, in Twin Falls, the Daily Beast reported Monday.

Facebook, the world's largest social network, said last week that an operation likely based in Russian Federation had placed thousands of US ads with polarizing views on topics such as immigration, race and gay rights on the site during a two-year period through May 2017. "We demand open and thorough investigation of all the cases regarding Muslim refugees!", it continued.

Out of the 48 people who said they were "interested" in the event, only four claim to have actually shown up.

According to the event page, the rally was hosted by "SecuredBorders", a community page on the social media website with 133,000 followers that was used as a Russian front and that has since been closed by Facebook.

Although numerous events had already been deleted from Facebook, some remnants still exist in search engine caches.

"We're seeing more evidence of additional ads and how they are used to manipulate individuals", Warner was quoted as saying.

Warner told reporters Tuesday he would speak with Senate Intel Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) "later today and later this week" about a potential public hearing involving the megalithic social media companies. "I question whether Facebook has put near the resources they need into getting us all the facts".

The Senate Intelligence Committee may call on representatives from Facebook and Twitter to publicly testify about foreign interference in US elections after Facebook disclosed last week that shadowy Russian-linked accounts had purchased more than $100,000 in political ads from June 2015 to May 2017.

At the time, Facebook's chief security fficer said that the "vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn't specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting or a particular candidate".

United States intelligence agencies assessed with "high confidence" in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a complex "influence campaign" involving cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns to undermine American democracy, hurt Hillary Clinton's chances and help Trump win the vote.

Facebook is in hot water with U.S. lawmakers. "Releasing those advertisements could allow the country to better understand the nature and extent of foreign interference with our democracy".

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