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U.S. Senator Mark Warner Urges Tech Companies To Fight Russian Propaganda In Ukraine—Russian Officials Punish Those That Do

U.S. Senator Mark Warner Urges Tech Companies To Fight Russian Propaganda In Ukraine—Russian Officials Punish Those That Do

A top U.S. senator is calling on the nation’s largest tech companies to do more to combat misinformation amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

On Friday, U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia, sent letters to Alphabet, Meta, Reddit, Telegram, TikTok, and Twitter asking the companies to take further action to prevent Russian propaganda operations on their platforms. Warner—who is chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence—also pointed out that YouTube continues to allow Russian websites known for spreading propaganda to make money from ads.

“Just yesterday, for instance, my staff was able to find RT, Sputnik and TASS channels’ content specifically focused on the Ukraine conflict to be monetized with YouTube ads – including, somewhat perversely, an ad by a major U.S. government contractor,” Warner wrote in a letter to Alphabet, which owns Google and YouTube. “Meanwhile, Google’s wider ad network continues to support influence outlets such as Sputnik and TASS, directing advertising dollars from unwitting U.S. brands like Best Buy, Allbirds, and Progressive to entities whose ties to Russian influence activity has been well-documented for over five years.”

Tech companies, Warner said, should create ways for Ukrainian public safety organizations to send emergency information to users, and provide the Ukrainian government and humanitarian groups with additional account monitoring and security tools. He also said companies should hire people who are proficient in Russian and Ukrainian to monitor content and identify inauthentic accounts.