Facebook, Twitter fall as they face US Congress

Donald Trump With a Phone Displaying Twitter Logo

Twitter CEO to defend company before Congress against bias claims

Google was invited to attend the Senate hearing but declined to send its chief executive Sundar Pichai or Larry Page, the head of its parent firm Alphabet.

Sandburg said, "In the first 3 months of 2018 alone, over 85 percent of the violent content we took down or added warning labels to was identified by our technology before it was reported". Many members of Congress fault social media platforms for failing to combat foreign efforts to influence USA politics.

"That's on us", she wrote. "That's on us. This interference was completely unacceptable. It violated the values of our company and of the country we love".

Rep. Leonard Lance speaks out on what he plans to ask Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on the handling of conservative content. "We haven't gone as deep as I would like just yet in understanding how we might apply this technology to Twitter but we have people thinking about it today".


Sandberg, 49, has extensive Washington experience, typically acts as the company's public face and clearly felt comfortable answering to the senators.

The hearing offered a largely collegial atmosphere in which the executives and senators spoke of the need for further efforts to thwart foreign influence campaigns on social media.

He acknowledged that the company's systems now place the burden of reporting threats on the victim, but said Twitter is committed to "build algorithms to proactively look for when these things are occurring and take action". "The abuse of our platform to attempt state-sponsored manipulation of elections is a new challenge for us and one we are determined to meet".

Earlier this year the company said it was taking aggressive measures to combat inauthentic accounts.


"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 remarks to a congressional hearing with USA technology giants. Twitter has been accused by some of suppressing conservative voices on the platform - which the company denied in July. He contends top-down regulation doesn't make sense "as long as we're transparent around what's guiding our decisions and enforcement, that we show willingness to evolve the rules as circumstances evolve". Both contrasted with Zuckerberg's sometimes awkward defiance at the April hearings as he fielded questions from skeptical lawmakers.

"You don't understand the problem if you don't see this as a large effort from whole of government and the private sector", Burr told reporters at the Senate.

"Maybe I did a better job because I'm good with the Twitter and I'm good at social media, but the truth is they were all on Hillary Clinton's side, and if you look at what was going on with Facebook and with Google and all of it, they were very much on her side", he said.


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