Khanoisseur 🐶🤦🏻‍♂️🌎 @Khanoisseur Nonpartisan fact-checks + analysis of news (+ 🐶 pics). *Turn notifications on* (Podcast coming). Stuff for @Google @Twitter @Uber @Facebook @Tesla Jun. 13, 2019 1 min read

Will countries see this as a signal to start peppering various candidates with “dirt” on opponents? “Foreign figures” have already been doing this kind of influencing and public opinion shaping openly via social media, op-eds and public statements for over a decade (and longer).

2. US allows foreign figures to influence US government officials and policy makers (including elected officials and candidates for office) as long as such figures follow rules for foreign lobbying under FARA (they don’t need to inform FBI) - social media complicates this.

3. Any foreign figure can tweet out “dirt”; Wikipedia, foreign media outlets can also post “dirt” or share opinions that go “viral” - FARA doesn’t go (cannot possibly go) far enough to contain such “dirt” sharing by foreign figures (especially when it’s funneled via US media).

4. Media in particular has immunity from sharing “dirt” obtained by third parties via illegal means (hacking, for example) - why no US reporters went to prison for sharing Wikpedia’s dumps on Clinton/DNC in 2016. Even if Wikipedia is shut down, others will pop up.

5. One solution is to ban US media from sharing such “dirt” but this could pose constitutional challenges (plus media likes to be unconstrained and exploit such “dirt” for ratings and clicks). Also possibly moot since such information will already be out in the public domain.


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