As the U.S. presidential election approaches on November 3rd, Executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter attended a virtual congressional hearing on foreign influence and election security and were questioned by lawmakers. At the House Intelligence Committee hearing, Facebook and Twitter executives said they had seen no evidence of foreign interference in absentee ballots or recent anti-racism and police protests.
But Nick Pickles, Twitter’s global director of public policy strategy and development, said the company had seen a shift from platform manipulation to public lying on Twitter messages by state media and government accounts.
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes asked Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, what the company is doing to address concerns that its algorithms promote polarization. “If every American family is as full of explosive, toxic gases as I think it is, then it only takes Russia or another country to light a match and it starts a fire,” Sims said. “
Mr. Glitsch replied that Facebook users didn’t want to see content about the split, and said the online social platform had refocused on content from users’ friends and family.
In recent weeks, the debate over content review has intensified. Twitter and Facebook are at odds over how to handle U.S. President Donald Trump’s inflammatory post. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, has lashed out at social media companies for censoring content and called on the government to remove the protection of technology platforms. At Thursday’s hearing, lawmakers pressed Mr. Grecher.
Asked about the amendment to section 230 of the Communications Standards Act, Mr Glitcher said Facebook would comply if Congress changed it, but said the law provided vital protection for the company’s work.
Richard Salgado, Google’s director of law enforcement and information security at Alphabet, has been accused of lacking transparency and has not come under fire like other technology companies. Mr. Salgado responded that Google would provide transparency reports on ads on its platform.