The open letter to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, was posted hours after The New York Times published a lengthy investigation into Facebook's reluctance to deal with revelations that Russian operatives leveraged the social media site as part of a complex 2016 election influencing campaign.
This type of firm might be normal in Washington, but it's not the sort of thing I want Facebook associated with.
Today, Facebook set up a press conference addressing a bombshell report from The New York Times that alleged, among other things, that the company contracted a Republican opposition research firm called Definers to run interference on the company's image, a job which reportedly included leaning on George Soros conspiracy theories. "As you know, there is a concerted right-wing effort the world over to demonize Mr. Soros and his foundations, which I lead-an effort which has contributed to death threats and the delivery of a pipe bomb to Mr. Soros' home".
Soros has criticised Facebook's approach to hate speech and propaganda on its global platform.
Following the November 14 New York Times bombshell report detailing a host of gross miscalculations and alleged malfeasance at the social media giant both in the run up to and following the 2016 US presidential election, the Facebook board has come out with a statement. The company argued its work with Definers only sought to dispel the idea that "Freedom From Facebook" was a grassroots campaign.
The Times said that when criticism of its belated Russian Federation admission grew, Facebook mounted a lobbying campaign led by Sandberg, pushing negative stories about its political critics and making rival companies like Google and Apple look bad. In a January 25 speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros called Facebook and Google a "menace" and called for "regulatory authorities to protect society against them". Facebook denied ever requesting that Definers write such hit-pieces, and severed its ties with the company late Wednesday night. Facebook complained to the Anti-Defamation League, who called the posters "a classic anti-Semitic trope".
The world's most popular social media platform has been on the back foot for months, including over the allegation that data from millions of Facebook users was abused by the consultancy Cambridge Analytica to help drive Trump to the White House.
Facebook on Thursday denied allegations in the New York Times that it tried to mislead the public about its knowledge of Russian misinformation ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but severed links with a Republican consultancy. Chuck Schumer, either, asserting that he did his best to blunt criticism of Facebook on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, told reporters she will be sending a letter to Facebook and the Justice Department.
"I learned about this yesterday", he said.