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Facebook, Twitter face U.S. Congress over politics and the internet

Facebook insists, it takes election interference seriously

WASHINGTON.

Top Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc executives will defend their companies before U.S. lawmakers today, with Facebook insisting it takes election interference seriously and Twitter denying its operations are influenced by politics.

Facebook and Twitter logos are seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca/File Photo But no executive from Alphabet Inc’s Google is expected to testify, after the company declined the Senate Intelligence Committee’s request to send one of its most senior executives, frustrating lawmakers.

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 U.S. election, according to written testimony released on Tuesday.

“The actions we’ve taken in response … show our determination to do everything we can to stop this kind of interference from happening,” Sandberg said.

The company is getting better at finding and removing “inauthentic” content and now has more than 20,000 people working on safety and security, she said.

Technology executives have repeatedly testified in Congress over the past year, on the defensive over political influence activity on their sites as well as concerns over user privacy.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been looking into efforts to influence U.S. public opinion for more than a year, after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Kremlin-backed entities sought to boost Republican President Donald Trump’s chances of winning the White House in 2016.

FILE PHOTO: Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board, attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo Moscow has denied involvement.

Google offered to send its chief legal officer, Kent Walker, to Wednesday’s hearing, but he was rejected by the committee, which said it wanted to hear from corporate decision-makers.

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Opinion Poll
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