Facebook, Twitter face congressional hearings on political bias, fake news

WSJ: Twitter CEO Involved in Alex Jones, Richard Spencer Decisions

Technology titans face a grilling in Washington DC on Wednesday as executives testify in front of the US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on social media and election meddling.

"As a bipartisan report from this committee said, Russian Federation used social media as part of, and I quote, a comprehensive and multi-faceted campaign to sow discord, undermine democratic institutions, and interfere in US elections and those of our allies", she explained.

"We are troubled by reports that the power of Twitter was misused by a foreign actor for the goal of influencing the USA presidential election and undermining public faith in the democratic process", Twitter General Counsel Sean Edgett told the committee November 2017. "Congress is going to have to take action here".

Facebook fell 1.6 percent and Twitter 5.2 percent.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who testified alongside Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, acknowledged that the company was too slow to respond to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 US election, but insisted it is doing better. Both Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Virginia, lambasted Google for failing to sent a top representative.

Raiders acquire two first-round selections, trade DE Khalil Mack
The Chicago Bears have pulled off a whopper of a trade the likes of which the team hasn't seen in almost a decade. Over the last three seasons, he's picked up 36.5 sacks and forced eight fumbles in that time span.

Moscow denies involvement, and Trump - backed by some of his fellow Republicans in Congress - has repeatedly dismissed investigations of the issue as a partisan witch hunt or hoax.

For the most part, this also means the Republican House Majority will likely be asking questions pertaining to Twitter censorship of conservative voices on the platform - such as the temporary suspension of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

On bias, the Twitter CEO is aggressive in defending his company, saying in the prepared House testimony that he wants to be clear about one thing: "Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules". Some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have pushed the idea that Twitter is "shadow banning" some in the GOP because of the ways search results have appeared.

Instead, an empty chair, complete with a glass of water, joined Sandberg and Dorsey on the dais.

Google said Walker will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, adding that company officials first informed the Senate committee that Walker would be Google's representative in July.

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