Congress grills tech firms over foreign influence

Larry Page Google

Earlier, Mr Dorsey told the Senate committee the company had not anticipated the exponential growth of the "public square" of Twitter.

Facebook FB.O fell 1.6 percent and Twitter TWTR.N 5.2 percent.

The Twitter CEO also opposes the idea of regulating Twitter and other internet companies like a public utility.

From his Twitter account, Dorsey tweeted out 16 separate threaded tweets with the text to his statement that was read aloud to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"It is definitely a violation and we were slow to act", Dorsey said.

Mr Dorsey, sporting a straggly beard, nose ring and open-collared shirt, insisted Twitter's monitoring has tightened, including notifying law enforcement last month of accounts that appeared to be located in Iran.

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.

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment on the DoJ's statement. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence pointedly set up an empty chair to shame Google parent company Alphabet.

"Clearly, this problem is not going away", Burr said. "I'm not even sure it's trending in the right direction", he added. On Tuesday it released written "testimony" describing the company's efforts to combat influence operations.

"I'm skeptical that, ultimately, you'll be able to truly address this challenge on your own".

Dorsey said that while he hasn't apologized to Meghan McCain or her family, he plans to.

Twitter's Dorsey, who has come under fire in recent weeks for remaining more "hands-off," said the social network was unprepared for what the election brought to its platform.

Trump, in an interview with The Daily Caller also on Wednesday, reiterated this perspective, saying that he believed tech firms "already" had interfered with the 2016 and 2018 elections.

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.

Sandberg repeated Facebook's acknowledgements about failing to crack down on influence campaigns stemming from Russian Federation that interfered with the 2016 USA presidential election.

They are under heavy pressure from President Trump, who has threatened to take action over the social media giants not giving more prominence to conservative voices and positive information about his administration.

Another, more complex, issue may arise when Mr Dorsey testifies later in the afternoon in front of the House Energy.

Trump faulted Twitter on July 26, without citing any evidence, for limiting the visibility of prominent Republicans through a practice known as shadow banning.

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