Feinstein was referencing the platforms’ roles in the 2016 election and how Russian Federation promoted politically divisive content. Facebook revealed last month that 126 million Americans may have seen Russia-linked content. Focused on Russia’s alleged use of Facebook, Google, and Twitter to meddle with USA politics, the hearing was a forum for senators to ask executives at those companies questions about the propaganda operation and voice their concerns.
“In hindsight, we should have had a broader lens”.
“A lot of folks, including many in the media, have tried to reduce this entire conversation down to one premise: foreign actors conducted a surgically executed covert operation to help elect a United States president”, Burr said.
If so, you were likely being targeted by the Russia-backed ads that have been in the news lately.
Stretch, Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett, and Google’s General Counsel Kent Walker all agreed that their investigations are ongoing so they can’t be sure they’ve identified all active measures of disinformation implemented by the Russians.
King said Twitter, Google, Facebook, and the country needs to look forward and try and stop in the future.
“I’m disappointed you’re here and not your CEOs”, King told the tech companies’ lawyers on Wednesday.
The companies also testified before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee later on Wednesday.
Then in November, the Facebook page published a non-paid post, depicting Hillary Clinton as a devil ready to fight with Jesus Christ. Russia’s Internet Research Agency alone generated 80,000 posts from January 2015 to August 2017, reaching millions of users through shares and reposts. While he said that it was impossible to know just yet if the driver of the truck had been directed by the Islamic State, it was clear that they were aware of the attack. “Right now, that doesn’t exist, and all of what the Russians did previous year has basically been a free pass”.
The political ads also tried to lure in Christian worshippers.
The companies’ visit to Washington this week reflected shifting political fortunes for the US technology industry, which after decades of enjoying relatively little regulatory scrutiny has found itself on the defensive in recent months on a wide array of policy issues. Diane Feinstein during today’s hearing. Federal election law prohibits foreign nationals from contributing to US campaigns or buying election-related ads. It turns the platforms into agents of the US government to decide what people should like or not like, read or not read.
“Like’ if you want Jesus to win!” Facebook made about $28 billion in revenue in 2016, most of it from advertising. For the first time in years, legislation imposing new restrictions on how the companies operate – especially when it comes to political advertising – is being discussed seriously in Washington, despite the work of the industry’s large, well-connected lobbying teams.
Stretch responded: “Certainly potentially”.
“People were brought together to foment conflict”, Burr told lawyers for Facebook, Google and Twitter.