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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.

 

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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