Democrats Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California have requested that Twitter and Facebook investigate whether Russian bots are helping push a social media campaign on the right to “release the memo” written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
What is the “release the memo” campaign?
After Republican members of Congress began talking about a bombshell memo outlining alleged outrages at the FBI and the Department of Justice, many took it on themselves to tweet “release the memo” in a social media campaign.
Almost immediately, some accused the campaign of being hijacked and aided by Russian bots. The hashtag “ReleaseTheMemo” quickly became a top trending issue in the United States.
Some have alleged that the accusations in the memo were so serious that they would end special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations into Russian collusion and interference into the 2016 presidential election.
Here’s what the Dems said:
Schiff and Feinstein sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about the claims, and asked them to “counter” the efforts from Russia.
“It is critically important that the Special Counsel’s investigation be allowed to proceed without interference from inside or outside the United States,” the members of Congress wrote.
“That is why we seek your assistance in our efforts to counter Russia’s continuing efforts to manipulate public opinion and undermine American democracy and the rule of law,” the statement continued.
“If these reports are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors directly acting to intervene and influence our democratic process,” Schiff and Feinstein said.
“This should be disconcerting to all Americans, but especially your companies as, once again, it appears the vast majority of their efforts are concentrated on your platforms,” they concluded.
What did Twitter say?
A spokesman for the social media platform responded, saying they would cooperate with the Democrats to uncover whether the campaign was influenced by Russian social media bot farms.
“Twitter is committed to addressing malicious activity on our platform, and we take any assertions of such activity very seriously,” the spokesperson said.
“We look forward to working closely with Senator Feinstein and Congressman Schiff to address their questions,” the statement concluded.
Here’s a report from Fox News about their demands:
Trump indicated Wednesday that he would be happy to submit to questioning from Mueller under oath.