Google has banned a handful of legislators from using social media platforms to promote their political campaigns, as the company grapples with rising concerns over the use of technology to sway public opinion.
The companies announcement came a day after Facebook said it had removed a number of lawmakers from its platform for spreading political views.
The move, which Google said was taken after the company received “multiple complaints” about lawmakers using Facebook, came a week after the House of Representatives voted to approve legislation that would allow lawmakers to circumvent Congress by using Facebook to promote campaign activities.
“The purpose of this restriction is to ensure that members of Congress who engage in partisan political activities are not able to use Facebook to engage in political activity,” Google said in a statement on Monday.
“If lawmakers were using the Facebook platform to promote partisan political activity, we would have been able to remove them.
We are taking this action because we believe it is in the best interest of our users and advertisers to remove such activity.
We believe that members are engaging in partisan activity and that using Facebook can be harmful to the brand and reputation of the company.”
The company also announced a $1.6 million fine against a Texas legislator, who had used Facebook to solicit votes in the state’s Republican primary and later promoted his Facebook page on Facebook.
It also said it would ban lawmakers from using Facebook for political activity.
Google said it also removed three Facebook pages from Texas after lawmakers linked to the pages on the company’s website.
It’s unclear how many lawmakers have used Facebook since Google announced its ban.
The ban comes as lawmakers grapple with rising questions about the use and misuse of social media.
“There’s a real concern in the political arena that we’re all in the same boat, where we all use the internet to get information,” Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman told the Dallas Morning News on Sunday.
“I think that’s the real concern, that all of us are on the same page, and we’re going to be able to find information.
But when you do that, you don’t get to have the full picture.”
Stockman also said that Facebook was helping “suspect groups” to spread misinformation about the election.
He said that was the reason his office removed the Facebook page of a former Texas prosecutor who he said “tried to spread lies.”
A spokesman for Stockman said he was unaware of the Facebook posts.
Facebook declined to comment on the case, saying it had received “several complaints” and that the matter was under review.