Congress grills tech firms over foreign influence

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Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, appearing alongside Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, will say that her company's efforts to combat foreign influence efforts have improved since the 2016 us election, according to written testimony released on Tuesday.

In the wake of testimony before a Senate committee hearing in which top officials from Facebook and Twitter testified, the Department of Justice issued a statement saying that it would be investigating social media firms.

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.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to meet with state attorneys general this month to discuss whether social media companies are stifling free expression, according to a statement released today.

Trump has repeatedly claimed social media platforms are biased against Republicans and conservatives.

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

He spoke with Dorsey about being an "equal opportunity shadow-banner" that isn't exclusively targeting Republicans and asked, "Twitter undertook no behavior to selectively censor conservative Republicans or conservative voices on your platform, is that correct?"

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The president's comment followed the statements of Democratic senators who warned that Trump was, in the words of Sen. Demonstrators protesting against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh , wear costumes from " The Handmaid's Tale ".

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged that the social media network failed to crack down on attempts from Russian Federation to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, according to AFP.

"If the answer is regulation, let's have an honest dialogue about what that looks like", said Senator Richard Burr, the committee chairman. "I'm not even sure it's trending in the right direction", he added. Like Zuckerberg, she acknowledged Facebook's lag in recognizing Russian efforts to manipulate Facebook during and after the 2016 US presidential election.

The afternoon hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee was to focus on bias and Twitter's algorithms. He acknowledged that the company's systems now place the burden of reporting threats on the victim, but said Twitter is committed to "build algorithms to proactively look for when these things are occurring and take action".

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. "Congress is going to have to take action here", he said. Chief election commissioner O P Rawat told TOI that "EC's interactions with the three social media companies are complete".

Trump faulted Twitter on July 26, without citing any evidence, for limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans through a practice known as shadow banning.

"We need to seriously think about whether the time has come for these companies to abide by new transparency obligations", Pai said in a blog post.

Google declined to send its CEO or parent company Alphabet's CEO to testify.

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