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SST Committee Continues Probe of Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Energy Market

Oct 31, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent letters to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc. citing additional evidence that Russian entities purchased anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel advertisements on the platforms, specifically Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram. The letter is part of the committee’s ongoing oversight of Russian efforts to manipulate the U.S. energy market.

The letters read in part:

Congress has a responsibility to bring transparency to social media when their content affects important matters of American public policy.

On October 23, 2017, [it was] reported that Instagram—a social media platform owned by Facebook—was utilized by Russian antagonists to influence the U.S. energy market.  

This recent revelation confirms the Committee’s suspicion: Russia has exploited American social media platforms in an effort to influence the U.S. energy market.

The letters can be found here.

Background

On September 26, 2017, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology requested documents and information related to Russian attempts to exploit Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc.’s social media platforms to influence the U.S. energy market. The companies have worked with the committee regarding plans to provide information necessary in this investigation.

115th Congress