Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg leaves a Senate office on Monday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar sent letters Monday to the CEOs of Google parent Alphabet and Twitter urging them to follow Facebook in endorsing their bill to increase disclosure requirements for online political ads.

Why it matters: Beyond Facebook's privacy firestorm, Google and Twitter are getting pulled into other debates surrounding how social media platforms are used during elections. Facebook endorsed the Honest Ads Act last week in a move that armed CEO Mark Zuckerberg with ammunition for his hearing appearances this week and put pressure on its rivals to follow suit.

What they’re saying:

  • The senators said in letters to the chief executives of Alphabet and Twitter, Larry Page and Jack Dorsey, that they “encourage you to follow Facebook’s lead and endorse the Honest Ads Act.”
  • They also encouraged the companies to take further voluntary steps to be transparent about political ad spending on their platforms.

Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai had initially been called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee along with Zuckerberg until the panel arranged a joint session with the Senate Commerce Committee featuring the Facebook chief alone.

  • But Sen. Bill Nelson, the ranking Democrat on the Commerce Committee, said executives from Twitter and Google should have to testify. “Absolutely, because it’s not just Facebook,” he told reporters after meeting with Zuckerberg Monday. “He happens to be the point of the spear, but all of these other app sites that get your personal data, that’s another way of us losing our privacy.”

The bottom line: Most criticisms of Facebook's overall business model — which harvests user data for ad targeting — could be applied to Google and Twitter, too. They won't be spared from having to answer similar questions.

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Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.