World’s biggest social network Facebook and famous microblogging service Twitter said they are making serious efforts to eliminate bad behavior on their sites. However, it seems Congress isn’t satisfied with the measures the two companies have taken so far.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence recently held a hearing in Washington, DC and criticized the business practices of Facebook and Twitter. The senators asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg about what they are doing to limit the impact of fake stories, internet trolls and provocateurs that trigger violence.
Speaking during the hearing, Virginia Senator Mark Warner said he is doubtful that the two companies will actually be able to address these issues on their own.
The hearing follows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before three committees in April about Cambridge Analytica, censorship and Russian influence in the U.S presidential elections in 2016.
However, the seriousness of recent hearing was evident from the beginning as both Dorsey and Sandberg testified under oath and were peppered with questions related to advertisement, transparency and how their respective companies are making efforts to end bad behavior.
Dorsey and Sandberg admitted that their companies were not quick enough to address the challenges they now face regularly. The confession was similar to one made by Zuckerberg five months ago before Congress. Dorsey said the requisite changes won’t be easy or fast but he made a commitment to finding solutions.
Alphabet’s CEO Larry Page was also invited to the hearing, though he refused to appear.
The hearing was mainly conducted to scrutinize the efforts made by the two companies regarding limiting the influence of foreign countries in the U.S politics through social networks such as the Russian influence campaigns, which spread false information during the 2016 presidential election in the United States.
The tech companies have already identified and removed hundreds of accounts that tried to interfere with 2018 US midterm elections that will be held in November.