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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 SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) reportedly told Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cybersecurity during summit with Putin How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress 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."