RUSSIAN AROUND

Senators Grill Social Media Giants Over The Daily Beast’s Exposés

Several pieces of recent journalism from The Daily Beast exposing dark undercurrents on social media, including the activities of Kremlin proxies, featured prominently in Wednesday’s landmark hearing in the Senate intelligence committee. Senators of both parties investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections–such as chairman Richard Burr, Marco Rubio, and Susan Collins on the right; and Dianne Feinstein on the left—cited The Daily Beast’s scoops on the Facebook page “Being Patriotic” promoting in-person rallies in the U.S. despite being Russian; Russia cybersquatting the United Muslims of America’s Facebook page; Russia’s use of fake Black Lives Matter activists “Williams and Kalvin” on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; the low cost of purchasing an army of Twitter bots to spread disinformation; and the social-media-borne persecution of Chinese dissident Guo Wengui.

—Spencer Ackerman