Social Media Shares Drop as Execs Take the Hill

Twitter CEO to defend company before Congress against bias claims

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday morning to discuss actions their companies have taken to thwart foreign influence campaigns targeting the 2018 midterm elections.

Google's offer to send a less senior executive was turned down by the committee and Marco Rubio, a Republican senator from Florida, suggested that their... But we are even more determined - and we will continue to fight back. "It violated the values of our company and of the country we love", Sandberg said in her written statement, which Facebook shared with Fortune.

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

The news is the latest sign that the USA government, which has so far been reluctant to regulate internet companies, is scrutinising them more closely.

Mr Dorsey pledged "tectonic" changes to Twitter to prevent malicious manipulation. Sandberg also added that Facebook employs 20,000 security and safety personnel who work 24 hours a day.

Sandberg could also face questions related to concerns over Facebook users' privacy. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) expressed their appreciation for the steps Facebook and Twitter have taken to regain control of their platforms.

A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment, but in past hearings Twitter officials have affirmed the gravity of the situation.

"As a bipartisan report from this committee said, Russian Federation used social media as part of, and I quote, a comprehensive and multi-faceted campaign to sow discord, undermine democratic institutions, and interfere in US elections and those of our allies", she explained.

Earlier this year the company said it was taking aggressive measures to combat inauthentic accounts.

Dorsey will follow the Senate hearing with another hearing that could be politically more contentious - an appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will specifically address Twitter's "algorithms and content moderation".

Dorsey's comments come days after President Donald Trump accused technology firms of "censorship" and suppressing conservative voices.

Dorsey said, "We acknowledge the real world, negative consequences of what happened and we take the full responsibility to fix". Dorsey said efforts to clean up Twitter will likely lead to the removal of many accounts, highlighting that Wall Street probably won't appreciate that, but he views these as necessary steps to create the ideal "digital public square" for everyone "There's a perception we wont act because it's not an incentive", he said, "but we see increasing health as a growth factor, not short-term. long-term".

Laura Rosenberger, the Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, told ABC News that likely won't be a problem for the Senate Intelligence Committee, as that committee in particular has been "steeped in understanding the challenges posed by foreign interference".

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