“Facebook elevated concerns about election interference Tuesday, announcing that it had uncovered ‘sophisticated’ efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to manipulate U.S. politics and by extension the upcoming midterm elections.” (AP News)
The left is concerned that social media companies are ill-equipped to deal with political influence campaigns, and is urging the government to take action against foreign actors using these platforms to foment division.
The right is divided.
“While it may be alarming that there was some mysterious force... that spent a paltry $11,000 to run political interference prior to the U.S. election, it is far more alarming that news of this nature is being broadcast by Facebook, and on Facebook’s own terms...There’s an innate conflict of interest in Facebook self-reporting on what their internal cops have caught...Who moderates the moderators?”
“Whether or not Russia was behind these 32 pages on Facebook's servers, the question remains whether these kinds of operators will be thwarted
and others) are making headway in sowing doubt about the media and our broader society.” A former FBI special agent warns, “Russia and other nation states won’t stop influencing via social media until they are met with a response; the U.S. has not mounted one and social media companies are really our only defense.”
The right is divided.
Many dismissed the news. “We need to keep these threats in perspective... For a malicious operation presumably run by a hostile intelligence service, its impact was ludicrously small, and its investment — just $11,000 with three months to go? — even more so.”
“Have you ever listened to the BBC for a fresh angle on American politics? I have heard numerous complaints of the echo chamber on both the Right and Left of American media regurgitate talking points. Do we need Mueller to protect us from foreign perspectives on our own politics?... Giving public figures the power to criminally punish their critics, even if they’re Russian, ought to concern us all.”
Others, however, argue that “regardless of which state is responsible here, once they are identified they must face sanctions. That necessity is informed not so much by the measure of harm these particular cyberattacks might have inflicted on the U.S. election... but rather by the precedent they set... that the U.S. democratic process is still a ripe target for hostile attack more than 18 months since the November 2016 presidential election.”
Man puts out Southend Pier fire by peeing on it.