Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Kristin Zimmerman

Trump, without evidence, says social media companies have interfered in elections

Trump, without evidence, says social media companies have interfered in elections

At a separate Senate hearing earlier on Wednesday, Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg faced threats of legislative action from skeptical lawmakers over what many members of Congress see as a failure to block fake accounts and other foreign efforts to influence us politics.

Ahead of a Senate intelligence select committee hearing that will also feature Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Business Insider has obtained a copy of the opening statement Sandberg plans to deliver to the assembled congresspeople.

Many senators expressed anger at Google, which was represented in the hearing room by an empty chair next to Sandberg.

Thirteen Russians were indicted earlier this year on charges of an elaborate social media plot to disrupt the 2016 United States presidential election.

He cited Facebook and Google by name.

Sandberg, in her prepared remarks, detailed how Facebook was addressing the problem but reiterated that the company was slow to spot it.

Dorsey said it was "unacceptable" that she was not told.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will testify before a US Senate select committee on election interference on Wednesday.

This Nov. 19, 2015, file photo shows Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey being interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Sandberg also added that Facebook employs 20,000 security and safety personnel who work 24 hours a day. 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. Earlier this year Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before lawmakers in part to explain how the personal information of tens of millions of Facebook users ended up in the hands of the United Kingdom -based data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Senate leaders rejected Google's offer to make Kent Walker, its senior vice president and chief legal officer, available for the hearings.

Google says Walker will still submit testimony and brief members on the subject of the hearing, which is foreign influence operations and their use of social media platforms.

A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment, but in past hearings Twitter officials have affirmed the gravity of the situation.

"(We) found no statistically significant difference between the number of times a tweet by a Democrat is viewed versus a Republican, even after our ranking and filtering of tweets has been applied", Dorsey said.

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

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.

Facing growing criticism from President Trump and GOP lawmakers that social media platforms favor liberals, Dorsey insisted Twitter is impartial.

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