by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s no secret that the investigation into US President Donald Trump’s team’s alleged collusion with Russian agents in the run up to the 2016 General Election is ongoing – and family members are getting involved too. While Trump has largely strived to stay in the news for diplomatic action these past few months – as heavyweights such as the controversial Steve Bannon found themselves removed from the White House inner circle – there are still a number of rumblings behind the scenes which will continue – at the insistence of many Republicans as well as Democrats.
The accusations that Trump’s campaigners and aides were allegedly in league with Russian intelligence remain to be confirmed – as an investigation started by ex FBI chief James Comey continues to rattle along in the background. Trump, of course, has denied all knowledge of such action – and Russia, too, appears to have washed their hands of such controversy. However, it seems that Mark Zuckerberg may hold a very important piece in the whole puzzle – and that his hand may be forced.
Congress has continued to pile pressure on Facebook for it to release the details of up to 3000 different social media advertisements purchased by Russian agency staff in the run up to last year’s Presidential Election. It appears that Zuckerberg and co have handed over such details to the counsel investigating the allegations made regarding Trump/Russian ties – and the social media CEO himself has emerged to confirm that Facebook is working to aid such investigations.
It’s a move which has led Facebook to announce that they will require more transparency from those purchasing political ads in future on the network. This means that the website may require buyers to have their details publicly displayed alongside ads – giving all who see them the chance to learn who was behind such a purchase.
Zuckerberg plainly stated, too, that it would be impossible for the network to completely police improper use as it happens – “We won’t catch everyone immediately,” confirmed the CEO, “But we can make it harder to try to interfere.” “If you break our community standards or the law, then you’re going to face consequences afterwards,” Zuckerberg was heard saying earlier.
With Twitter due to work with Senate representatives on ways to curb the spread of fake news, it seems social media really could hold the key to much of the political drama we are witnessing unfold.