Facebook, Twitter pledge to defend against foreign intrusion

Facebook, Twitter pledge to defend against foreign intrusion


In the wake of testimony before a Senate committee hearing in which top officials from Facebook and Twitter testified, the Department of Justice issued a statement saying that it would be investigating social media firms.

However, like Walden, Pallone acknowledged that Twitters ability to spread information quickly has a dark side, and said it and other social media companies must do more to regain and maintain public trust.

Sheryl Sandberg will tell the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that Facebook was "too slow to spot" Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and "too slow to act", according to an opening statement the Facebook chief operating officer released Tuesday.

Facebook has faced criticism for being a hotbed of misinformation during the 2016 election, with a large chunk of the content subsequently found to have been coming from Russian-backed troll farms.

Social media companies have always been accused of stifling conservative views on their platforms, most recently by Donald Trump.

Sandberg said that Facebook was "too slow to spot" Russia's purported influence operation and "too slow to act".

Google rejected requests to send its CEO Sundar Pichai or parent firm Alphabet chief Larry Page, but offered a writted statement from its chief legal officer Kent Walker.

There might also be overall uncertainty about the future of Twitter, now that Dorsey has publicly said the company is fundamentally rethinking core parts of the business.

"This interference was completely unacceptable".

"We need to seriously think about whether the time has come for these companies to abide by new transparency obligations", Pai said in a blog post.

"If the answer is regulation, let's have an honest dialogue about what that looks like", said Senator Richard Burr, the committee chairman.

Meanwhile, at the Senate hearing, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to accusations by President Trump and other Republican leaders that Twitter, Facebook and Google engage in political bias against conservatives, insisting his company strives to be "impartial".

Last week Trump accused Google's search engine of promoting negative news articles and hiding "fair media" coverage of him, vowing to address the situation without providing evidence or giving details of action he might take.

While Facebook and Twitter executives were in the firing line in Washington D.C., Google frustrated lawmakers by declining an invitation to send a representative.

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".

  • Terrell Bush