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  • Op-ed published in The Hill

Self-regulation, not government regulation, should keep Russian ads off Facebook

As committees in the House and Senate grill Facebook, Google and Twitter executives this week about Russia's use of social media to influence the 2016 election, the heavy hand of government regulation hangs over the hearings. Last month, Democratic senators Mark Warnerand Amy Klobuchar held a press conference to introduce legislation that would regulate paid-for political speech on any website with a large audience. The bill is a transparent attempt to exploit fears about Russian interference as a cover for politicians' never-ending push to control the political speech Americans see and hear.

...Self-regulation would avoid the serious First Amendment issues raised by government intervention. Just as importantly, it would allow each social media company to individually tailor a solution to the particular characteristics of its platforms, rather than forcing a one-size-fits-all federal mandate on the huge range of websites that populate the internet. Moreover, self-regulation can adapt with far greater speed and flexibility as the Russians adjust their tactics to try to get around whatever defenses we mount...


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