Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

Trump, without evidence, accuses social media companies of election meddling

Trump, without evidence, accuses social media companies of election meddling

One chair will be occupied by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg while Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey will also be at the receiving end of some angry Republicans who claim the companies have shown evidence of bias against conservatives.

Google was accused of being "arrogant" today for refusing to send a top executive to a Senate hearing into the manipulation of social media. Thirteen Russians were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller this year on charges of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 US presidential election by creating fake accounts that pushed divisive issues on social media.

He cited Facebook and Google by name.

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

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


In recent weeks Facebook has revealed the existence of multiple influence operations meant to influence politics in a manner similar to Russia's 2016 intervention, aimed at the U.S., as well as other countries around the world.

Dorsey and Sandberg agreed that fake accounts are the root of many of their problems.

A committee spokesperson said Walker's "commentary" was not testimony, adding, "We wish his enthusiasm for participating in the company's public hearing extended to his company's senior leadership, and that they were willing to answer the committee's questions".

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.

Democrats panned the GOP for drumming out outrage toward Twitter and pointed to President Trump's repeated use of the platform to "bully" critics.


Warner and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharLive coverage: Trump's court pick presents his case at contentious hearing State Department unit created to fight foreign election interference still waiting on funding: report Spotlight shifts to Kavanaugh ahead of hearings MORE (D-Minn.) a year ago introduced the Honest Ads Act, legislation aimed at regulating digital political ads in a manner similar to print, radio and TV political ads. 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.

Facebook is going after "inauthenticity", or fake accounts.

The afternoon hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee was to focus on bias and Twitter's algorithms.

"We aren't proud of how that free and open exchange has been weaponized and used to distract and divide people, and our nation", Dorsey said.

Laura Rosenberger, the Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, told ABC News that likely won't be a problem for the Senate Intelligence Committee, as that committee in particular has been "steeped in understanding the challenges posed by foreign interference".


Sandberg's appearance came several months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in highly publicized Capitol Hill hearings.

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