What Sheryl Sandberg will tell Congress about Facebook and Russian Federation

Marion JacobsSep 06, 2018

"Google and Twitter and Facebook, they're really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful".

Political pressure on Facebook, Twitter and Google escalated on Wednesday as the U.S. government warned that Silicon Valley's increasingly powerful companies may be hurting competition.

Facebook FB.O fell 1.6 percent and Twitter TWTR.N 5.2 percent.

Top leaders from Facebook and Twitter participated in a congressional hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday morning, where they faced an onslaught of questions about the ways in which these tech giants handle the personal information of millions of Americans.

Before the hearing, President Donald Trump, without offering evidence, accused the companies themselves of interfering in the upcoming USA mid-term elections, telling the Daily Caller that social media firms are "super liberal".

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been looking into reported Russian efforts to influence USA public opinion throughout Trump's presidency, after us intelligence agencies concluded that entities backed by the Kremlin had sought to boost his chances of winning the White House in 2016. "Congress is going to have to take action here". Mark Warner (D-VA). He wants new regulations for these companies.

Dorsey will then participate in a second hearing Wednesday afternoon before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, where he is set to discuss the algorithms Twitter uses to serve content on users' Twitter feeds and "content monitoring". Part of his time will be spent answering to Republicans who falsely are claiming social media companies are censoring conservatives.

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During Wednesday's hearing, Sandberg reiterated that such threats would continue and that Facebook would keep working to address them.

Trump faulted Twitter on July 26, without citing any evidence, for limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans through a practice known as shadow banning.

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.

Wednesday's hearing was a follow-up to one held in November that focused on foreign government manipulation of social media platforms to influence USA politics. Google offered another executive instead, and the committee said no.

Google, which was also invited to the hearing, did not send a representative.

Lawmakers also criticized Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google for refusing to send top executives to testify in the Senate on foreign efforts to influence USA politics, with just weeks before the November 6 congressional elections.

Though no Google representative is expected to testify as of this report, in a blog post Tuesday Google Senior Vice President for Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker said he would still be in Washington to separately brief lawmakers on Google's efforts and will be submitting written testimony to the Senate committee.

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