Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Tech | By Anita Cain

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

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

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. "We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially".

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. The hearing is part of an ongoing effort to address evidence of Russian meddling during the 2016 election cycle.

In prepared testimony released before a House hearing Wednesday, Jack Dorsey says 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".

The committee also took a shot at Alphabet CEO Larry Page, who declined an invitation to appear, by leaving out an empty chair.

Google said Walker will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, adding that company officials first informed the Senate committee that Walker would be Google's representative in July.

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.

"At its best, Facebook plays a positive role in our democracy, enabling representatives to connect with their constituents, reminding people to register and to vote, and giving people a place to freely express their opinions about the issues that matter to them", Sandberg began. 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.

President Trump has repeatedly criticized Google, Facebook and Twitter in recent days, bashing the companies in a series of tweets and press conferences for allegedly exhibiting political bias against conservatives. Lawyers for Facebook, Google and Twitter were grilled by senators over the course of two days last October, after the extent of the Russian social media influence operation was revealed.

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