Graham: Manipulation of social media "one of the greatest challenges to American democracy"
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, had strong words ahead of the hearing on Russia disinformation on the web.
Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on crime and terrorism, said the manipulation of social media "is one of the greatest challenges to American democracy," as well as to national security.
"The purpose of today's hearing is to gather information regarding activity by foreign governments and terrorist organizations to manipulate popular social media sites in order to undermine our national security," Graham said in a statement.
"It is well documented that radical Islamic terrorist groups regularly use popular social media outlets to recruit Americans and individuals throughout the world to their cause. It has become equally clear that foreign governments like Russia - in the 2016 election cycle - were deeply involved in manipulating popular social media websites with misinformation to sow discord among Americans. Today's hearing is designed to explore the depth of the problem to determine whether or not legislative solutions are necessary and can be constructed consistent with our Constitution and values. Equally important is to make sure that the social media platforms are doing everything possible to combat these growing concerns. Clearly, to date, their efforts have been unsuccessful."
"The manipulation of social media sites by terrorist organizations and foreign governments is one of the greatest challenges to American democracy and a significant threat to our national security in the 21st century."