Top executives from Twitter and Facebook vowed to Congress on Wednesday to continue their internal campaigns to rid their powerhouse social media platforms of inauthentic accounts used to spread misinformation.
Prior to the hearing, President Donald Trump in an interview with the Daily Caller accused social media companies of interfering in the USA mid-term elections in November, without appearing to offer any evidence.
The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has expressed a "growing concern" that social media companies may be "intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas" on their platforms, the Department of Justice confirmed on Wednesday. President Trump has accused the social-media companies of favoring liberal views over conservative ones - and even of interfering in the 2016 and 2018 elections to favor Democrats.
After his stint at the Senate, Dorsey faced off with House members at a second hearing where GOP lawmakers accused Twitter of trying to silence conservative voices.
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Dorsey also live-tweeted his opening statement.
CNBC reported Google tried to send its top lawyer to the hearing on foreign interference in US elections, but the committee wanted either CEO Larry Page or Sundar Pichai to testify alongside executives from Twitter and Facebook.
"If the answer is regulation, let's have an honest dialogue about what that looks like", said Senator Richard Burr, the committee chairman.
Twitter's Dorsey was to follow his Senate testimony with an appearance at an afternoon hearing looking at that issue in the House of Representatives. He acknowledged that the company's systems now place the burden of reporting threats on the victim, but said Twitter is committed to "build algorithms to proactively look for when these things are occurring and take action". They have always censored speech to attract advertisers and prevent harm against users, whether it's pictures of female nipples, bullying and harassment, or terrorist propaganda. "That's why it is incredibly important for the public to understand how precisely the companies' machine-learning algorithms shape what we see online and who we engage with online". "The actions we've taken in response - beginning with the steps Facebook's General Counsel, Colin Stretch, outlined to this Committee previous year - show our determination to do everything we can to stop this kind of interference from happening". In an interview with The Daily Caller this week, he said social media companies had backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.