A congressional Democrat has regularly slammed Facebook's tolerance of disinformation as a serious problem -- but it's not serious enough for her to drop her $1 million to $5 million investment in the company.
The Daily Beast is pointing out that Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) has regularly blamed the site for adding to the "divisiveness" in the U.S. and while demanding that the government “hold tech companies accountable."
“I know that Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies have been asked to testify before Congress about the algorithms, about the implications of them, as well," she said at a recent town hall.
She also blames the site for helping connect those organizing ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. While most of the militias organized their activities using encrypted apps, one of those, WhatsApp, is also owned by Facebook parent company Meta. Meanwhile, the casual supporter of Donald Trump who hadn't joined a militia was gathering information and organizing on Facebook.
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According to 2021 financial disclosure documents, however, the Democrat and her husband own between $1 million and $5 million in Meta stock, the Facebook parent company. It's the largest investment in the company in all of Congress. It's unknown if Luria has attempted to use her investments as leverage to address reforms in the company.
Luria hasn't received any money from the Facebook political action committee, and it's unclear if the reason is her outspoken opposition to the company. She also might not even accept such a donation as many Democrats refuse corporate campaign dollars, particularly from companies they oppose.
Like many campaigns, however, hers is using Facebook to advertise, to the tune of $354,540. While it may seem like a hefty sum to most, the multi-billion dollar company might see such an investment as nothing more than coffee money.
Ethics laws like the STOCK Act were supposed to regulate the corporate investments of companies that elected officials hold by ensuring that they couldn't use information not publicly available to make their investment decisions. Democrats have argued that the 2012 law is too weak and are demanding a more souped-up version.