Facebook and Google are facing inquiries by multiple arms of the federal government. Facebook was called out for violent online ads while Google was in limelight for gender disparity in workplace.
In 2011, Facebook requested the Federal Election Commission for a waiver from disclosure rules on political advertising. The request was backed in force by both Republican and Democrats.
Google was also rewarded with a similar waiver in the same timeline.
Six years post the exemption, the Congressional leadership committees have dramatically shifted their stance against the social media giant.
The Congress currently demands to know the number of fake adverts circulated on Facebook. The senators want to find out the number of foreign-sponsored ads on Facebook, which influenced the U.S. 2016 Presidential elections.
The growing number of probes invited trouble for Facebook and its chief rival, Alphabet’s Google unit.
Google came under radar when the company was hit by a class-action lawsuit by three former employees over gender pay issues.
Mary Smith, U.S. political organizer and a member of the Republican Party said, “Social media platforms have the ability to serve as an effective propaganda arm conveying specific messages.”
Facebook and Google are now de facto media companies. Both the companies are victims of their own success in developing sophisticated digital-ad technologies, Smith added.
Both the online influencers have an extraordinary user base. The user count is due to software which facilitates online marketers to advertise products and services to very specific audiences.
This feature has become popular among the most valuable publicly traded companies. Google’s parent, Alphabet is currently worth $650 million while Facebook is valued at $487 billion.
Their stock prices and the number of investigations into the online giants have increased simultaneously.
After the series of unfortunate events for the online companies, Facebook and Google have two weeks to disclose information on the Russian influenced adverts.