US Department of Justice looks into social media firms over free speech

US Department of Justice looks into social media firms over free speech

US Department of Justice looks into social media firms over free speech

Facebook and Twitter executives pledged on Wednesday to better protect their social media platforms in the 2018 elections and beyond, and told Congress of aggressive efforts to root out foreign intrusions aimed at sowing divisions in American democracy.

However, like Walden, Pallone acknowledged that Twitters ability to spread information quickly has a dark side, and said it and other social media companies must do more to regain and maintain public trust.

"We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers".

The threat of potential federal intervention came just as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg were testifying before Congress about their efforts to root out false news and foreign meddling in USA elections. "Please help us Mr. President before it is too late because Jack Dorsey is trying to influence the election!"

Dorsey's comments come days after President Donald Trump accused technology firms of "censorship" and suppressing conservative voices. But free services that find out as much about users as possible remain unchanged, prompting critics to say social media companies will continue to contend with bad actors manipulating their systems unless they change.

He added, "I know our members have a series of hard questions about structural vulnerabilities on a number of Google's platforms we need answers for".

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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.

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". "It violated the values of our company and of the country we love", Sandberg said in her written statement, which Facebook shared with Fortune.

They also asked Alphabet Inc's Google to send a top executive to testify, but declined its offer to dispatch Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker rather than Alphabet Chief Executive Larry Page.

Many senators expressed anger at Google, which was represented in the hearing room by an empty chair next to Sandberg.

Republican Senator Susan Collins said she had learned from a university report that she had been targeted some 270 times by Russian-linked tolls on Twitter, asking Dorsey why the company does not tell users when they have been attacked.

"The actions we've taken in response. show our determination to do everything we can to stop this kind of interference from happening", Sandberg said.

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