Google, Facebook, Twitter to block fake news

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

"This is unacceptable." By the end of the hearing, as pointed out by the committee's chairman Rep. Walden (R-OR), the account responsible for those tweets had been removed.

And committee leaders aren't happy about that.

During that hearing, it's likely Dorsey will face questions about - and push back against - accusations of political bias against Republicans. "Over the past weeks, President Trump and many Republicans have peddled conspiracy theories about Twitter and other social media platforms to whip up their base and fundraise", he said. "The actions we've taken in response - beginning with the steps Facebook's General Counsel, Colin Stretch, outlined to this Committee a year ago - show our determination to do everything we can to stop this kind of interference from happening". Many members of Congress fault social media platforms for failing to combat foreign efforts to influence U.S. politics.

Facebook came under fire for being at the forefront of Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Facebook, Twitter face congressional hearings on political bias, fake news
Instead, an empty chair, complete with a glass of water, joined Sandberg and Dorsey on the dais. Facebook fell 1.6 percent and Twitter 5.2 percent.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been looking into Russian efforts to influence United States public opinion throughout Trump's presidency, after USA intelligence agencies concluded that entities backed by the Kremlin had sought to boost his chances of winning the White House in 2016. "In particular, law enforcement should not threaten social media companies with unfounded investigations".

Dorsey was responding to a question from California Representative Doris Matsui during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing that focused on user privacy protections, misinformation, content moderation and alleged bias against political conservatives on Twitter. 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.

Republicans control majorities in both the Senate and House, but the House's approach to the election issue has been far more partisan than in the Senate. Google declined to send its CEO or parent company Alphabet's CEO to testify. On Tuesday it released written "testimony" describing the company's efforts to combat influence operations.

Jones railed on the government, media and social media companies for more than 40 minutes in the hallway as the hearing began, and later took a seat in the hearing room. The decision of the social media companies to screen and block negative political advertisements is completely voluntary and they have assured the EC that they will self-censor political content to identify posts that are partisan and which can disturb a level-playing field or involve negative campaigning, fake news, personal attacks and inflammatory content.

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