© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Members of Congress Call On FBI To Investigate Social Media Disinformation Campaign

Detail of Facebook App section false news report, on a smartphone.
Adobe Stock
Detail of Facebook App section false news report, on a smartphone.

Florida U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), along with other Hispanic members of congress, are askingthe FBI to investigate what she says is a disinformation campaign targeting Hispanics.

“Disinformation is really nothing new online, we saw this in 2016. We had several meetings with the FBI where they confirmed that Russia had interfered in our elections and they were targeting Floridians at that time on Facebook and really at the time helping then-candidate Donald Trump to win the election," said Mucarsel-Powell. "What we’re seeing now is that they’re doing the same thing in 2020.”

In a letter to the FBI last month Mucarsel-Powell cited a social media post that claimed presidential candidate Joe Biden supports killing newborn babies, and that if he were to win, it would mean the U.S. would fall into a dictatorship led by Jews and Blacks. In recent weeks both Facebook and Twitter have announced tightened policies in an attempt to try and thwart attempts to mislead the public.

A recent surveyreleased by the Pew Research Center shows nearly one in five adults get their political news from social media. That number increases to nearly 50 percent for adults between the ages of 18 and 29.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.