Schumer told Warner to back off of Facebook: report

Schumer told Warner to back off of Facebook: report
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Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCongress: Americans in Puerto Rico still need our help Airbnb is doing the Democrats' dirty work Protecting our judiciary must be a priority in the 116th Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) reportedly told Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Lawmakers worry as 'deepfakes' spread | New intel strategy sees threats from emerging tech | Google fined M under EU data rules | WhatsApp moves to curb misinformation On The Money: Shutdown Day 32 | Senate to vote on dueling funding measures | GOP looks to change narrative | Dems press Trump on recalled workers | Kudlow predicts economy will 'snap back' after shutdown Overnight Energy: Polls highlight growing worries about climate change | Watchdog asked to probe recall of furloughed Interior workers | Canada allows preliminary work on Keystone XL MORE (Va.), the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, to back off of investigating Facebook and its role in enabling Russia’s misinformation campaign in the U.S.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday in a story about Facebook’s internal response to controversies over data privacy and Russian election meddling that Schumer told Warner, who has been the tech platform’s chief antagonist on Capitol Hill, that he should be trying to cooperate with Facebook instead of scrutinizing it.

A Senate source familiar with the meeting between Schumer and Warner told The Hill that Schumer urged Warner to have the committee focus on issues related to disinformation and future election meddling. 

The source said that Schumer was worried that Facebook may "bow to pressure from the right wing, who opposed Facebook’s purging of fake accounts and bots."

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The Times also reported that Facebook had mounted an intense lobbying campaign in Washington with COO Sheryl Sandburg taking on a personal role.

And when Sandburg testified before the Intelligence Committee on election interference this summer, Facebook’s lobbyists urged members not to ask her about data privacy or the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

"This has been a tough time at Facebook and our entire management team has been focused on tackling the issues we face,” a Facebook spokesperson said in response to the Times story. “While these are hard problems we are working hard to ensure that people find our products useful and that we protect our community from bad actors."