DeSaulnier Wants Task Force To Study Impact Of Social Media Bots On Elections And Public Discourse

May 22, 2019 13:59 pm · 37 comments

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced the introduction of the Bots Research Act, a bill to establish a task force of experts at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to determine the impact of automated social media accounts, commonly known as “bots,” on elections and public discourse.

“We now know that bot accounts were actively used by foreign agents as part of what the Mueller Report characterized as ‘sweeping and systematic’ interference in the 2016 presidential election. These accounts pose a clear danger as weapons that spread false information and manipulate public opinion and threaten free elections and the democratic process,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.

The proposed task force, which would be comprised of government, academic, and industry experts, will define what qualifies as a “bot,” identify how broadly these accounts are used, and recommend how best to combat their influence and effects.

The task force will report its findings to Congress.

Fred P. May 22, 2019 at 2:24 PM

Well, let’s see the qualifications of these experts, and see if they’re truly looking at a problem…. or if they’re mark’s “answer” in search of a problem, and mark has already provided the results.

Then let’s see the raw study and data, and not something filtered by others.

I’m not holding my breath, given his actions to date.

Mitch May 22, 2019 at 2:52 PM

Be careful Mark, you might expose some Dem shenanigans if this study ever happens.

Dawg May 22, 2019 at 2:56 PM

It’s not so much social media that is spreading false information and manipulating public opinion, it’s the news media that is constantly attacking and criticizing President Trump.

Sick of it May 22, 2019 at 3:03 PM

In my whole life I never remember a time as now that the media is so Biased and not giving the real story. They use to give you the information based on all sides and let you decide on how you felt about it. Now it’s sensationalized and single sided to fit there agenda that seems to be strictly on the democrat liberal side. It’s a waste of time to watch

sign from above May 22, 2019 at 7:11 PM

@ Sick

I totally agree with you. The idea of an objective media is long gone. The media we have now is no better than a government run media source. You can no longer believe what is spewed over the air waves. Everything is slanted, and yes its slanted typically in the democratic direction. Very unfortunate!

Rollo Tomasi May 23, 2019 at 9:54 AM

Agreed. The quaint concept of a journalist reporting the question asked and the answer given is dead.

The Mamba May 22, 2019 at 3:04 PM

Nobody cares, this is a waste of time and money. The bots didn’t go into the voting booth and force anyone to vote a certain way, if people are too stupid to question information they are getting via social media, there’s nothing you can do.

Nope May 22, 2019 at 3:09 PM

Why?? The BOTS I put on my website are none of his business. It’s my website!

Same May 22, 2019 at 3:16 PM

Get real. What a waste of time.

Cellophane May 22, 2019 at 7:59 PM

That’s exactly what Mark does best.

Waste time.

And lots of taxpayers money.

Original G May 22, 2019 at 3:20 PM

Far more useful use of congressman’s time would be a bill that makes voter fraud a Federal Felony with mandatory 10 year term in Federal Prison.

Well now that was a total waste of time, . . .
such a bill would not be introduced by a democrat.

No Excuses May 22, 2019 at 3:23 PM

What he really wants is another budgeted tool with money to spread among his friends and supporters. We generally call that payment in kind.

RANDOM TASK May 22, 2019 at 3:28 PM

wow de slacker way to follow the dem credo …blame other people for what you are doing

dems have been manipulating the vote in demifornia for years but because its a one party system no one cares at least politicians and apparently voters and unions and business here

try looking in the mirror de slacker before you start throwing stones

Russian bot May 22, 2019 at 3:34 PM

They really are worried about different opinions. Mark is a second class citizen. Speech is protected in this country. I don’t care who is speaking, or about what.. The country was founded on this principle FOR A REASON. Russian bots..what a joke..what even is a “Russian bot”? Out of control swamp monster still trying to cover for 2016 losses. They will never get it until they are voted out.
Beep beep: Trump 2020

Mary Fouts May 22, 2019 at 3:44 PM

How about a task force to look into outlawing all of the annoying pre-recorded political calls we get in election cycles? Oh, and make all political groups subject to the do not call list, from which many are exempt.

No we’re talking.

Worried May 22, 2019 at 3:56 PM

The Democrats are not concerned about foreign interference in our elections the Democrats loved the illegal votes the more illegals they can get in here the more votes they get bribe them with free stuff the Democrats aren’t fooling anybody. If they were serious about it they would be all for voter ID

Safety Second May 24, 2019 at 3:54 AM

So true about illegal aliens. If Mark really cared, he would look no further then the effect of BOTs (Border Offending Travelers) on “motor voting” at DMV. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Ricardoh May 22, 2019 at 3:56 PM

Is that the same as filling potholes? I get confused sometimes.

Rob May 22, 2019 at 3:58 PM

Of course, Russia helped sway an election – why wouldn’t they?

The US has a history going back many decades of the US meddling in other countries elections – in some cases helping to overthrow governments elected by their citizens all in the name of “Whatever is good for us”.

IMHO – before the US gets too far out of sort – perhaps the US should pledge to no longer interfere in the elections in other countries…

Rollo Tomasi May 23, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Rob, that might be the one and only thing you’ve written with which I agree wholeheartedly (and I’m sure the inverse is also true). Are politicians suggesting we hold the Russians or any other country to a higher standard than we hold ourselves? Nationalism, anyone?

94517 May 22, 2019 at 4:57 PM

Manipulating public opinion?That is what the radical left doe’s on a daily basis.Nice try Mark.

John Hamblin May 22, 2019 at 5:53 PM

Hey Mark,

How about investigating vote harvesting in California?

The Fearless Spectator May 22, 2019 at 7:00 PM

As soon as the term “task force” is employed, you know it will be both expensive and inconclusive. The Same with “Special Committee”. The election will be what it will be so let’s stick to substantive issues. I know that is a lot to ask.

Fred P. May 23, 2019 at 11:42 AM

Don’t forget the “blue ribbon committee.”

Equally useless.

sign from above May 22, 2019 at 7:17 PM

Quit wasting time with this garbage Mark and do what the voters put you in office to do. Come up with some legislation that actually benefits society. Quit the witch hunts to do your job! What about issues like social security? There’s one to start with. Not all of us will be getting a cushy politicians retirement. Some of your constituents may actually need the social security that they’ve spent their careers paying into. Unfortunately, most of us yet to retire will probable not see it throughout our lifetime. How about protecting that instead of worrying about “bots”?

Bad Nombre May 22, 2019 at 10:18 PM

When lying is no longer protected by the 1st Amendment there will be no politicians and no political advertising.

OverWhelmed May 23, 2019 at 5:55 AM

What and he thinks that the media doesn’t influence people the same way? Dude, you need to get a grip on reality!

OverWhelmed May 23, 2019 at 6:00 AM

This is coming from a person who is helping to push a law that says if a president does not show his last five years of taxes that he can’t be on the ballot in California! What a freaking menace this man is! This is because he knows that the dems are done in CA.

Fred P. May 23, 2019 at 6:14 AM

“….manipulate public opinion and threaten free elections and the democratic process…”

So what he’s saying is that the Democrats lost because the voters couldn’t think for themselves; as opposed to the lying by the politicians who count on the voters not being able to think for themselves.

He’s just another sore loser ….

Now let the rest of the loser snowflakes cry “hater, hater, hater”, because they can’t think for themselves either.

The Wizard May 23, 2019 at 8:47 AM

Mark, make that a double and put it in a clean glass.

Mountainside Jay May 23, 2019 at 11:30 AM

What I see are the biggest load of whiners and complainers to ever trot out in behalf of a low-IQ president who helps no one but himself. Everyone sees the emperor has no clothes but these dimwits scream “fake news!” and “unfair!” and talk about how BEAUTIFUL the emperor’s suit is. What a pack of simpering lunatics.

Fred P. May 23, 2019 at 8:17 PM

And Jay is undoubtedly a member of the democrat party- you know, the party of tolerance, diversity and inclusion… the party that espouses freedom of speech and expression.

Which is why he loves to insult others for their opinions.

How’s it feel to be the poster boy for hypocrites of the world?

Now go back to your safe space, snowflake. You have 5+ more years of Trump and 20+ years of a conservative SCOTUS.

Cry on!

Gebertx May 23, 2019 at 1:38 PM

Mark, Homeless is up 43% in your District, why not focus on issues like that, I believe that Contra Costa Election Officials will tell you they’re pretty buttoned up, Please do something meaningful to your District !

The Professor May 23, 2019 at 6:04 PM

Maybe Mark was elected by Russian Bots.

Please tell Nancy that we want the Dems to pass something worthwhile and substantial. Oh, that’s right. She won’t listen because she values your opinion as much as we do.

Please either go away or do something. You schtick is growing stale.

Forsythe May 24, 2019 at 7:36 AM

Any attempt by the Dems to deal with Russian bots is a farce.

The Dems tried to overthrow President Trump. They failed, switched to obstruction, failed, switched to getting his taxes, failed. Switched to claiming a cover up, failed.

What’s missing?

Doing the work of the American people. Actually voters don’t count.

Mark has a solid seat in the entrenched blue 11th District, and he knows it.

Who matters? Mostly unions. Follow the money.
https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00030709

Dr. Jellyfinger May 24, 2019 at 9:39 AM

How about a study to determine the impact of Democrats “Ballot Harvesting” for elections and influencing voters decisions? (activists telling voters how to vote, making sure they do vote & personally collecting their ballots).

qwerty May 24, 2019 at 11:39 AM

For a minute there, I thought he was talking about the news stations when he said: “These pose a clear danger as weapons that spread false information and manipulate public opinion and threaten free elections and the democratic process,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.

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