WASHINGTON - U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) yesterday sent letters to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc. requesting documents and information related to Russian entities purchasing anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel advertisements on the platforms. The letters are part of the committee’s ongoing oversight of efforts to manipulate the U.S. energy market.
The letter states:
“In light of Facebook’s disclosure of over $100,000 in social media advertising associated with Russian accounts focused on the disruption and influence of U.S. politics through social media, it is likely that Russia undertook a similar effort using social media to influence the U.S. energy market.”
“The American people have a right to know whether the information they are hearing, seeing, and reading is being presented on behalf of a foreign government.”
“Social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, have the ability to serve as an effective propaganda arm conveying specific messages to geographically targeted audiences. The Committee is concerned that divisive social and political messages conveyed through social media have negatively affected certain energy sectors, which can depress research and development in the fossil-fuel sector and the expanding potential for natural gas.”
The letters can be found here.
The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has jurisdiction over environmental and scientific research and development programs.