The #ReleaseTheMemo social media campaign swelled last week as many, including Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, called for the memo to be released to the public. Now, two members of Congress are asking Twitter and Facebook to look into a potential Russian role in the viral spread of the hashtag campaign.
The memo in question is one written by Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican on the House Intelligence committee, that alleges the intelligence community committed abuses that impact the president. The memo claims to be based on top secret intelligence shared to a small group of Congressional leaders by the FBI. However, Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the committee who was also present at the meeting with the FBI, has said that the memo is "a misleading set of talking points attacking the FBI." Democrats have said that the memo is only meant to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into collusion between the Trump administration and Russia.
Of course not, but when the chairman of House Intel (HPSCI) claims there's documented evidence of serious surveillance abuses, it matters. If true, the citizens must see the proof. If false, it establishes HPSCI lies and has no credibility. Either outcome benefits the public. https://t.co/IsRcR1azvP— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 19, 2018
Last Thursday, the House Intelligence committee voted to make the memo available to all Representatives and the #ReleaseTheMemo campaign continued to spread. But Representative Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein have now written a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg requesting an investigation into who is involved in spreading the campaign across their platforms. They cite evidence provided by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy, which has said that by last Friday the hashtag was "the top trending hashtag among Twitter accounts believed to be operated by Kremlin-linked groups." The group also said it was being used 100 times more than other hashtags used by accounts believed to be associated with Russian actors.
#ReleaseTheMemo: Do you know someone who has access to the FISA abuse memo? Send them here: https://t.co/cLRcuIiQXz— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 19, 2018
WikiLeaks will match reward funds up to $1m sent to this unique Bitcoin address: 3Q2KXS8WYT6dvr91bM2RjvBHqMyx9CbPMN
or marked 'memo2018': https://t.co/lmsmphuH2N pic.twitter.com/j1YEkXqi2S
"If these reports are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors directly acting to intervene and influence our democratic process," said Schiff and Feinstein in the letter. "This should be disconcerting to all Americans, but especially your companies as, once again, it appears the vast majority of their efforts are concentrated on your platforms." They request that the two companies look into whether there are any Russia-linked accounts involved in the hashtag campaign and if so, how many. They also want information on the frequency and volume of their posts as well as how many others on Facebook and Twitter have been exposed to their posts. They're requesting the two companies provide a public report to Congress by January 26th.