The House and Senate panels have invited the social media giants Facebook, Twitter along with Google to appear at public hearings this fall. The committees are scrutinizing the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media, to what extent Russia was involved and whether anyone in the United States helped target those stories. Social Media Giants to Talk to House & Senate in 2016 Election Probe.
The House intelligence committee will hold a hearing in October and the Senate intelligence committee has invited witnesses to appear November 1.
Social Media Giants to Talk to House & Senate in 2016 Election Probe
Unlike Facebook, which has said phony accounts on its platform attempted to stir up divisiveness in the election, Twitter has remained mostly silent. The two social media companies have different types of platforms, as Twitter allows users to register anonymously and has more public accounts than Facebook. Many lawmakers have expressed concerns about the proliferation of anonymous “bots” on Twitter and their potential to spread misinformation.
Twitter, Facebook and Google haven’t yet said whether they will accept the invitations to testify publicly before both intelligence committees.
Twitter last week confirmed that officials would be meeting with the Senate panel and issued a statement pledging to improve defenses on its platform.
The company said in a statement:
“Twitter deeply respects the integrity of the election process, a cornerstone of all democracies, and will continue to strengthen our platform against bots and other forms of manipulation that violate our Terms of Service.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said the company will work to make political advertising on its platform more transparent.