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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) asked Facebook vice president and general counsel Colin Stretch how it was possible not to notice Russia’s political advertising purchases made with a foreign currency.

“How did Facebook, which prides itself in connecting data points, somehow not make the connection that electoral ads paid for in rubles were coming from Russia?” Franken asked Stretch.

Stretch admitted that the company “missed” the giant red flags. Franken was not satisfied, and he had a simple question to settle the entire matter in the future.

Franken asked Stretch if Facebook would simply commit not to accept payment in foreign currency for political ad buys in the United States. When Stretch tried to deflect with a word salad, Franken grew agitated.

“I‘m asking you a question, just answer yes or no. Can you do that?” an exasperated Franken asked. “You’re sophisticated. You’re the chief legal counsel for Facebook. Please answer yes or no.”

Watch the exchange below.

Chris Sosa is an associate editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Previously, he was a campaign specialist and media spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.