Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Lawmakers come down hard on Google for skipping Senate hearing

WSJ: Twitter CEO Involved in Alex Jones, Richard Spencer Decisions What to expect: Twitter CEO's testimony on transparency, accountability
Camille Neal | 06 September, 2018, 01:18

Facebook's No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, and Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey, testified before the Senate intelligence committee, but there was an empty chair in place for Google's parent Alphabet, which refused to send its top executive.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey are expected to answer questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee starting at 9:30 a.m.

In a House of Representatives hearing, Representative Greg Walden, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said Twitter had made "mistakes" that, he said, minimized Republicans' presence on the social media site, a practice conservatives have labeled "shadow banning".

Dorsey's testimony comes as some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, are increasingly claiming that social media and other mainstream online platforms are innately biased against conservative voices.

Democratic Party Senator Mark Warner said that he was skeptical that Facebook and Twitter would be able to address the problems of manipulation on their own.

Sandberg will apologise for Facebook's response to Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. presidential election: "We were too slow to spot this and too slow to act".

On bias, the Twitter CEO is aggressive in defending his company, saying in the prepared House testimony that he wants to be clear about one thing: "Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules".

Pakistan supports Iran's stance on nuclear deal
The two sides issued divergent statements after the telephonic conversation. If you step forward one step, we will take two steps forward.

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

3D-printed Facebook and Twitter logos are seen in this picture illustration made in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 26, 2016.

Twitter's Dorsey, who has come under fire in recent weeks for remaining more "hands-off," said the social network was unprepared for what the election brought to its platform. Rosenberger, who testified before the same committee on foreign influence on social media last month, said she has "every expectation that [the hearing] will be serious from the lawmakers' side". Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg will also face questions, mainly surrounding what her company has done to crack down on abuse and other forms of content created to mislead. US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 campaign with the aim of tilting the election in Trump's favor, a finding that Moscow has denied. "That means it's going to take everyone including industry, governments, and experts from civil society working together to stay ahead", Sandberg will say, in part. The company's Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker sent a written statement, promising to maintain efforts to thwart foreign interference in United States elections.

Dorsey meanwhile says Twitter has continued to identify accounts that may be linked to the same Russian internet agency in Mueller's indictment. "Period. Impartiality is our guiding principle", Dorsey told the panel.

Republicans aired grievances against the social media company.

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

In a statement to HuffPost, Google said it's been diligent in briefing lawmakers on the political interference issue in the past.

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