Trump, without evidence, accuses social media of election meddling


Executives from Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc defended their companies to skeptical USA lawmakers on Wednesday over what many members of Congress see as a failure to combat continuing foreign efforts to influence US politics. The committee wanted Larry Page, the Chief Executive Officer of Google's parent company Alphabet, to testify as well, but the company insisted on sending a lower-level official, drawing the lawmakers' ire.

Many senators expressed anger at Google, which was represented in the hearing room by an empty chair next to Sandberg. USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 campaign with the aim of tilting the election in Trump's favor, a finding that Moscow has denied.

"We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is more left-leaning", Dorsey told CNN.

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says the company is getting better at finding and combating adversaries who try to use the platform.

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"That's on us", she wrote. "That's on us. This interference was completely unacceptable".

Facebook, she said, is "investing heavily in people and technology to keep our community safe and keep our service secure", including doubling the number of people working on safety and security issues to 20,000.

"We're shutting down fake accounts and reducing the spread of false news", Sandberg said.

Sandberg could also face questions related to concerns over Facebook users' privacy. Mark Zuckerberg, the company's founder and CEO, faced tough questioning on the platform's internal practices when he testified before Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal. The company sought to send its senior vice-president for global affairs, Kent Walker, but was rebuffed. "Congress is going to have to take action here", Warner said.

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"Over the last 18 months we've met with dozens of Committee Members and briefed major Congressional Committees numerous times on our work to prevent foreign interference in USA elections", a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "The abuse of our platform to attempt state-sponsored manipulation of elections is a new challenge for us and one we are determined to meet".

Investors were seemingly unimpressed by the execs' statements ー shares of Facebook, Twitter, and Dorsey's other company Square were all down along with the broader social media and tech space midday.

Twitter's Dorsey, meanwhile, is slated to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in addition to the Senate.

President Donald Trump has accused Silicon Valley companies of liberal bias and suppression of conservative voices.

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I have spoken to both the White House and the Trump campaign. "I will get involved and I'll get in there if I have to", he added. Tom Ridge, a longtime friend of the late Sen. "The man didn't feign anything", Ryan said.