Justice Department looks into social media firms over free speech

WSJ: Twitter CEO Involved in Alex Jones, Richard Spencer Decisions

WSJ: Twitter CEO Involved in Alex Jones, Richard Spencer Decisions

Transparency reports have become standard among major tech companies like Facebook and Google as a way to partially reveal their interactions with the federal government.

Facebook FB.O fell 1.6 percent and Twitter TWTR.N 5.2 percent.

Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, also acknowledged his company's past failures.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who testified alongside Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, acknowledged to the Senate Intelligence Committee that the company was too slow to respond to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 United States election and general American political discourse, but insisted it is doing better. "Congress is going to have to take action here".

Trump was quoted as saying in the interview on Tuesday that "I think they already have" interfered.

Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-V.A.) echoed that sentiment.

This morning, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg appeared before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss foreign interference, specifically from Russian Federation, in U.S. elections via social media.

Facebook, Twitter and other technology firms have been on the defensive for many months over political influence activity on their sites as well as concerns over user privacy.

From his Twitter account, Dorsey tweeted out 16 separate threaded tweets with the text to his statement that was read aloud to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have pushed the idea that Twitter is "shadow banning" some in the GOP because of the ways search results have appeared.

During Wednesday's hearing, Sandberg reiterated that such threats would continue and that Facebook would keep working to address them. The committee invited Larry Page, the CEO of Google's parent company, Alphabet, but the company said it would send a lower-ranking executive instead.

"Our goal today is to begin to shape actual policy solutions which will help us tackle this challenge", Burr said, explaining that social media users deserve the right to know who exactly is in charge of their information and how it is being used. Rubio slams movie for omitting Armstrong planting American flag on the moon MORE (R-Fla.), who's also on the committee, suggested Google didn't attend either "because they're arrogant" or because of aBuzzFeed News story published Tuesday that showed researchers reportedly posing as Russian trolls were able to purchase ads on the search platform.

Google did release written "testimony" from Walker ahead of the hearing, even though he was not expected to appear.

The back-and-forth with Google is the latest in a year's worth of attempts by Congress to force the companies to focus more sharply on the Russian interference issue.

The other executive is chief legal officer and senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker.

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