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Facebook, Twitter fall as they face U.S. Congress

05 September, 2018, 21:30 | Author: Vicki Mclaughlin
  • Twitter's Jack Dorsey left and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during a news conference at Station F, a mega-campus for startups located inside a former freight railway depot, in Paris, Jan. 17, 2017.

"Our adversaries are determined, creative, and well-funded".

Dorsey will appear before the US House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee after Republicans raised concerns about how the social media platform polices content.

Last week Trump launched an attack on Google with an early morning tweet accusing the tech giant's search engine of being biased against conservative media and promising that the situation "will be addressed".

"Each of you have come a long way with respect to recognizing the threat", Senator Mark Warner, the committee's top-ranking Democrat, said.

At the time, several senators expressed dismay that the companies had dispatched legal counsels rather than chief executives.

Twitter's Dorsey was to follow his Senate testimony with an appearance at an afternoon hearing looking at that issue in the House of Representatives.

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

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Absent from the Senate's questioning was Google.

Top Google officials, including Larry Page, CEO of parent company Alphabet, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of the Google brand, declined invitations from congressional leaders to testify at the hearings. The committee rejected that offer.

The Senate Intelligence Committee saved a seat for the late Sen.

"I'm disappointed Google decided against sending the right senior level executive", committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said in his opening remarks.

A year ago, big technology companies disclosed that Russian-backed actors had manipulated their platforms in hopes of swaying the election.

Both executives said they were taking specific steps to address the spread of misinformation. Still, their business models - free services that rely on attracting as many users as possible for as long as possible and finding out as much about them as possible - remain the same.

"We were too slow to spot this and too slow to act", Sandberg will say. He said Twitter has so far suspended 3,843 accounts the company believes are linked to the agency, and has seen recent activity.

Dorsey will testify later on Wednesday during a separate House hearing, while Sandberg will not.

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