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6 Key Moments From Social Media Hearings

On Capitol Hill Wednesday, Facebook’s chief operating officer and Twitter’s CEO testified about foreign entities and the use of social media platforms to influence the United States’ elections.

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey answered questions from the Senate intelligence committee on topics including foreign influences and “fake news.”

Dorsey also appeared before the Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday afternoon to discuss Twitter’s transparency and accountability.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Larry Page, chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, declined the Senate intelligence committee’s invitation to attend and testify at the meeting, according to Fox News.

President Donald Trump recently tweeted harsh criticism of Google, tweeting on Aug. 28 that the platform is “rigged” in its showing of conservative news and “Trump news” in searches.

Here are six takeaways from the hearings.

  1. A Promise to Combat ‘Fake News’

Sandberg told senators Wednesday during the Senate intelligence committee hearing that her company is working to eradicate fake news from Facebook.

“I think we have learned a lot, and I think we are going to have to continue to learn because as we learn, our opponents learn and we keep up,” Sandberg said, adding:

We are working on technology and investments in people, making sure fake news is disseminated less on the platforms, transparency in actions in taking down bad actors, and we have seen everywhere from Mexico to Brazil to other places around the world these same techniques deployed differently and each time we see it, I think we get smarter. I think we see the new threat and we are able to connect the dots and prevent those threats going forward.

  1. Defining Twitter’s Nonpartisan Stance  

Dorsey, in the House hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee, said Twitter does not favor one party affiliation over another.

“I want to start by making something very clear: We don’t consider political viewpoints, perspectives, or party affiliation in any of our policies or enforcement decisions,” Dorsey said. “Period.”

He said impartiality is the guiding standard of Twitter because users and observers “gather from all around the world to see what’s happening and to have a conversation about what they see.”

  1. Monitoring Activity and Content From Harmful Countries

Sandberg said her company has been successful in taking down international accounts that could pose harm.

“Just two weeks ago we took down 650 pages and accounts from Iran, some were tied to state-owned media, and some were pretending to be free press, but they weren’t free press, and so it depends how you define a hoax, but I think we are certainly seeing them misuse information campaigns,” Sandberg said.

  1. Eliminate Fake Content and Accounts

Facebook is working to eliminate all fake accounts and content on its site, Sandberg said.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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