Facebook, Twitter face US Congress over foreign bids to tilt politics

Yolanda Curtis
September 5, 2018

Facebook and Twitter executives, defending their companies on Capitol Hill, said Wednesday they are aggressively trying to root out foreign interests seeking to sow divisions in American democracy as the November elections near.

A committee spokesperson said Walker's "commentary" was not testimony, adding, "We wish his enthusiasm for participating in the company's public hearing extended to his company's senior leadership, and that they were willing to answer the committee's questions".

The committee also took a shot at Alphabet CEO Larry Page, who declined an invitation to appear, by leaving out an empty chair. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said Google doesn't "understand the problem" if it doesn't want to work with the government to find solutions.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says the company is getting better at finding and combating adversaries who try to use the platform.


Jones peddles fake news, and is behind the promotion of horrific and damaging stories, including his repeated claim that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which 20 young children and six school officials were murdered, was a "false flag" operation - a hoax - and child actors were used.

Dorsey is also testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee later in the day over allegations of bias against conservatives on social media.

"I'm deeply disappointed that Google - one of the most influential digital platforms in the world - chose not to send its own top corporate leadership to engage this committee", said Warner.

"We were too slow to spot this and too slow to act", Sandberg told the committee in her opening statement. Mark Zuckerberg, the company's founder and CEO, faced tough questioning on the platform's internal practices when he testified before Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal. Lawyers for Facebook, Google and Twitter were grilled by senators over the course of two days last October, after the extent of the Russian social media influence operation was revealed. Twitter has been accused by some of suppressing conservative voices on the platform - which the company denied in July. He says Twitter has so far suspended 3,843 accounts the company believes are linked to the agency, and has seen recent activity.


"Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules", Dorsey said in prepared testimony obtained by Fox News.

"We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially", Dorsey will tell lawmakers Wednesday, according to a copy of his prepared remarks released in advance.

As the hearing began, social media stocks fell, with Twitter down 4.5 percent and Facebook around 1 percent lower.


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