It’s time to interrogate the power of social media

In her Nov. 5 Sunday Opinion essay, “Social media’s ugly power,” Quinta Jurecic cited excerpts from the congressional hearings on Russian involvement in our presidential election that deftly illustrated that the Russia issue is separate from the questions surrounding the new role of social media in political discourse. Ms. Jurecic’s crisp analysis showed that the latter are the larger, more enduring issues.

I found myself eager to join in the questioning of the social-media representatives, particularly on the wooden claim that “transparency” is a sufficient justification for anything that might appear on their “platforms.” What meaning does “transparency” have if postings on social media involve the use of synthetic or made-up addresses, handles, hashtags, etc., in place of known, identified writers, columnists or other news sources?