Nov 9, 2017

Senate Dem wants tech firms to notify users exposed to Russian propaganda

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), next to a poster of an online ad designed to suppress Clinton's vote (AP's Andrew Harnik)

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal today asked Twitter, Google and Facebook to inform all of their users who were exposed to ads and content purchased or placed by Russian actors during the 2016 election.

"You owe your users full information regarding when, where, and how they may have been unwitting participants in Russia's campaign to sow division and spread disinformation in the United States," Blumenthal wrote in letters to the companies' CEOs.

Context: The companies took a lot of heat on Capitol Hill last week for allowing Russian content with malicious intent to spread on their platforms and are under pressure to add new safeguards. Several lawmakers called on the companies to release more information about the ads and stories that appeared on their platforms so citizens have a better idea of what it looks like. Some ads have been released.

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Situational awareness

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  2. Trump misrepresents 2020 Russia briefing as Democratic "misinformation"
  3. Bernie Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"
  4. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone
  5. Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Sanders takes aim at Bloomberg: "Trump will chew him up and spit him out"

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders told CBS "60 Minutes" that he was surprised by Mike Bloomberg's lackluster performance at Wednesday's Democratic debate.

What he's saying: "If that's what happened in a Democratic debate, you know, I think it's quite likely that Trump will chew him up and spit him out."

Scoop: Lyft acquires cartop advertising startup Halo Cars

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lyft has acquired Halo Cars, a small startup that lets ride-hailing drivers earn money via ad displays mounted atop their cars. Lyft confirmed the deal but declined to share any details.

Why it matters: Ride-hailing companies are increasingly eyeing additional ways to generate revenue, and Lyft rival Uber has been quietly testing a partnership with New York-based Cargo that gives it a cut of the advertising revenue, as I previously reported.