Facebook and Twitter executives plan to defend their companies in two congressional hearings, arguing that they are aggressively trying to root out foreign actors who want to do the United States harm just weeks before the midterm elections.
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 too was to be present at this hearing, but the company did not send a senior executive. Either Google CEO Sundar Pichai or Alphabet CEO Larry Page were supposed to attend the hearing. Follow the live blog below.
You can also read how Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by the US Senate on privacy concerns five months ago.
US Senate Vice Chairman Mark Warner Wraps It Up
Warner thanks both Dorsey and Sandberg for their presence and urges both to make their platforms better safer for users across the US. He also thanks them for taking down bad actors online and also help fighting against fake news.
US Senate Chairman Richard Burr also thanks both the individuals for being present and addressing the senators’ questions. Burr also thanks them for their contribution to battling bad actors and elements online specifically taking stringent steps against the Russian influence in the 2016 elections.
US Senator Cotton on Why Wikileaks is Active on Facebook and Twitter
WikiLeaks and Julian Asaange remain active on Facebook & Twitter. Sandberg says that these accounts don’t violate any of Facebook's terms. Twitter also says the same and clarifies that it is open to inviting law and enforcement to investigate if needed.
Google's absence has been repeatedly brought up throughout this hearing consistently and for sure it’s not very popular on Capitol Hill right now.
Senator Manchin on Why Facebook & Twitter Don't Operate in China
Both Facebook and Twitter do not operate in China because the Chinese government hasn’t allowed both these platforms in the country. Sandberg and Dorsey are unanimous in their reply to the senator.
Senator Lankford on Data of Suspended Accounts
Both Twitter and Facebook keep records of the suspended accounts for later analysis and also for referrals by law and enforcement bodies. Sandberg was also questioned on the number of fake accounts on Facebook.
At any point of time we think about 3-4 percent of accounts are inauthentic.Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook