Twitter Sinks on Dorsey's Testimony

Google heads into showdown with Congress after Senate panel rejects its witness

Openly recognising their companies' past failures in rare displays of modesty, Facebook and Twitter executives touted new efforts to combat state-sponsored propaganda across their platforms before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, acknowledging that the task is often "overwhelming" and a massive drain on their resources.

President Donald Trump's administration warned Wednesday of a possible legal crackdown on big technology companies over competition or political bias, in a bombshell announcement that came as social media executives were defending their policies before lawmakers. The tweet said "America, this ones for you".

Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, expressed concern that social media is vulnerable to corruption and misuse.

Google was also invited to attend the Senate hearing but declined to send its chief executive Sundar Pichai or parent firm Alphabet chief Larry Page.

Google said in a statement that Walker would be in Washington on Wednesday, "where he will deliver written testimony, brief members of Congress on our work, and answer any questions they have".

An empty seat had been left for a representative from Google.

Warner said, "Our members have a series of hard questions about structural vulnerabilities on a number of Google's platforms that we will need answered".

"Google search results for "Trump News" shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media", Trump said on Twitter at 5:24 a.m.

"This (statement) makes me think antitrust is not the real goal, that the real goal is censorship", Goldman said.

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Jake Wilson told WEAR-TV that the strong wind was bringing a lateral current "where it's just going to push you down the beach". There is a Storm Surge Watch in effect for the Mississippi-Alabama border westward to the Mouth of the Mississippi River.

But Mr Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas, told Mr Dorsey: "We wouldn't be having this discussion if there wasn't a general agreement that your company had discriminated against conservatives". "We aren't proud of how that free and open exchange has been weaponized and used to distract and divide people, and our nation".

"The committee takes this issue very seriously, and we appreciate that Facebook and Twitter are represented here this morning with an equivalent and appropriate measure of seriousness", Senator Burr of North Carolina said.

Asked how Facebook uses information to sell advertising, Sandberg said "privacy and advertising aren't at odds".

"In the short term we need to do a better job at prioritizing around the reports we receive", he concluded, "this is independent of what people see or report to us on the platform and in the longer term we need to take the burden away from the victim from having to report in the first place".

Warner responded that social media companies that fail to do so should face sanctions. But she admitted: "We were too slow to spot this and too slow to act".

While Twitter has been accused of "shadow banning", or of de-emphasizing certain accounts in search results, Dorsey said his company believes in being impartial and that "from a simple business perspective and to serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform".

In her testimony, Sandberg details ongoing efforts to take down material linked to the Russian agency, including the removal this year of 270 Facebook pages.

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

Also on Wednesday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, wrote: "It's an arms race, and it will take the combined forces of the United States private and public sectors to protect America's democracy from outside interference". Covert accounts linked to Iran also have cropped up.

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