MPAC Meets with Govt., Tech Sectors to Share Concerns Over Russian Ad Interference

Press Release

October 31, 2017

Photo by: zeevveez (CC BY 2.0)
Photo by: zeevveez (CC BY 2.0)

(Washington, D.C., 10/31/17) – The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a national public affairs organization for American Muslims, announced today that it has met with government officials and tech sector leaders to share their concerns over Russia’s use of social media to target their respective communities.

The ads, designed to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos around the 2016 presidential campaign, targeted African American, Latinx, LGBTQ, and Muslim communities through geo-filtering technology.

As part of its advocacy, MPAC called for the release of the Russian ads and increased transparency within the tech sector for its ad-buying process moving forward.

“As these tech companies become more involved in the civic and political process, as demonstrated by Facebook’s campaign to increase voter registration, that level of involvement also comes with an increased responsibility to assure the American public that there is a level playing field for all communities to participate,” said Hoda Hawa, MPAC’s Director of Policy and Advocacy.

“It also means that these tech companies must take the appropriate measures to protect the sanctity of our democratic process -- free from foreign influence and agendas. Thus far, we have found that their responsiveness to our concerns is a positive sign that moving forward, they will seek input from their community of users.”

Earlier this month, MPAC, along with other advocacy groups, met with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in Washington, D.C. to discuss the impact of the Russian ads on its respective communities. At that meeting, Sandberg committed to doing more to make political advertising more transparent. On Friday, Facebook announced some of these policy updates.

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ABOUT US
 
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is a national public affairs nonprofit organization working to promote and strengthen American pluralism by increasing understanding and improving policies that impact American Muslims though its engagement with media, government and Hollywood.
 
MEDIA CONTACT
 
Rabiah Ahmed, Director of Media and Public Affairs, at  202-439-1441 or rabiah@mpac.org



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