Wicker Seeks Election-Related Data From Facebook, Twitter

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The Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee wants to know if social media giants have been providing any data to the presidential campaigns.

In advance of an Oct. 28 hearing on Big Tech and Section 230, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) sent letters to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, both of whom are scheduled to testify, asking them for the information by Oct. 26 given the fast-approaching election.

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Given that the candidates use the platforms for campaigning and communicating with voters, wrote Wicker, and in the interests of full disclosure, "I request that you provide the Committee with specific information regarding whether and how [Facebook/Twitter] has provided access to any data, analytics, or other information to either major political party, candidate, or affiliates thereof," he said, which means essentially anything that might influence the campaign or candidate's decision-making.

Wicker said it was critical that the public know how the information was being disseminated publicly, as well as privately with candidates or parties, and whether the information was being provided "equitably to all candidates."

President Trump has repeatedly accused social media platforms of working for the election of his opponent, Joe Biden, and against his own reelection.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.