FEC chair summons Facebook, Twitter, Google to disinformation session
By NANCY SCOLA 08/29/2019

The chair of the FEC is summoning Facebook, Google and Twitter to a meeting next month on digital disinformation amid concerns that new forms of Russian-style social media manipulation will target the 2020 election.

"The goal of the symposium will be to identify effective policy approaches and practical tools that can minimize the disruption and confusion sown by fraudulent news and propaganda in the 2020 campaign," reads the invitation sent by the office of FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat, and obtained by POLITICO.
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Facebook and Twitter plan to send representatives to the session, the companies confirmed to POLITICO. A Google spokesperson did not immediately comment.

While Russian election interference has been a central focus since the 2016 election, the event will address growing concerns about home-grown disinformation, too, according an FEC official familiar with the event, who requested anonymity to discuss the session, which has not yet been made public.

“Under the First Amendment, we don’t ban false statements in advertising and social media, but there’s a difference between the right to speak and the right to be disseminated” online, the official said.
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The social networks have been widely criticized for allowing the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency to abuse their platforms during the 2016 election. Many of the Russian ads and posts, which were viewed by millions of people, disparaged Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, boosted Donald Trump or stoked divisions in American society, such as those over the Black Lives Matter movement.
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The September disinformation event is, according to the FEC official, being co-hosted by Stanford University and the non-profit group PEN America, which focuses on free expression issues.
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More: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/...mation-1692742