Facebook 'wittingly' enabled Russian meddling in US election: Pelosi
WASHINGTON US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that Facebook's refusal to remove an edited video that attempted to make her look incoherent had convinced her the company knowingly enabled Russian election interference.
"When something like Facebook says, 'I know this is false ... It's a lie - but we're showing it anyway,' well to me it says two things," Mrs Pelosi said to applause at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
"I was giving them the benefit of the doubt on Russia ... I thought it was unwittingly, but clearly they wittingly were accomplices and enablers of false information to go across Facebook."
She said attacks like those on Facebook also made it more difficult to recruit candidates for public office because "why would you subject yourself to that".
NetChoice, an e-commerce trade group that includes Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet's Google, issued a statement objecting to Mrs Pelosi's criticism.
"Hyperbolic attacks on platforms won't help solve the tech issues of today," Mr Carl Szabo, vice-president of the group, said in the statement.
"It's obvious that Facebook is hugely invested in ensuring that its platform won't be misused to aid election interference."
The Washington Post reported last week that YouTube, which is owned by Google, responded by removing the video as it violated company policies on acceptable content.
The Post said Twitter did not comment, but Facebook declined to remove the videos, even after its independent fact-checkers deemed the content false.
"We don't have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true," the Post quoted Facebook as saying in a statement.
US Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities with conspiracy to defraud the US, as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election that included widespread use of social media sites to spread misinformation.
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