Twitter CEO Tells Congress It's 'Thinking About' Blockchain Identity

Gerardo Harmon
September 6, 2018

Facebook and Twitter are using increasingly sophisticated technology and artificial intelligence to combat the misuse.

Facebook FB.O fell 1.6 percent and Twitter TWTR.N 5.2 percent.

Conservative Republicans in Congress have criticized social media companies for what they say are politically motivated practices in removing some content, a charge the companies have repeatedly rejected.

Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey on Wednesday told United States legislators that the social media network was "unprepared and ill-equipped" for the misinformation campaigns that have plagued it for the last few years.

Before the hearing, President Donald Trump, without offering evidence, accused the companies themselves of interfering in the upcoming US mid-term elections, telling the Daily Caller that social media firms are "super liberal".

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Thirteen Russians were indicted earlier this year on charges of an elaborate social media plot to disrupt the 2016 USA presidential election.

"Over the last 18 months we've met with dozens of Committee Members and briefed major Congressional Committees numerous times on our work to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections", a Google spokesperson said in an email.

Trump was quoted as saying in the interview on Tuesday that "I think they already have" interfered. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) expressed their appreciation for the steps Facebook and Twitter have taken to regain control of their platforms.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, appearing alongside Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, will say that her company's efforts to combat foreign influence efforts have improved since the 2016 USA election, according to written testimony released on Tuesday.

"We've removed hundreds of pages and accounts involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior - meaning they misled others about who they were and what they were doing", Sandberg told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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Google says Walker will still submit testimony and brief members on the subject of the hearing, which is foreign influence operations and their use of social media platforms.

Sandberg's appearance came several months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in highly publicized Capitol Hill hearings. The company's Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker sent a written statement, promising to maintain efforts to thwart foreign interference in USA elections.

President Donald Trump used Twitter on July 26 to fault the website, without evidence, for using so-called shadow banning, or limiting the visibility of, prominent Republicans.

Google, which was also invited to the hearing, did not send a representative.

The back-and-forth with Google is the latest in a year's worth of attempts by Congress to force the companies to focus more sharply on the Russian interference issue.

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I am very disappointed, very disappointed. "I think it is important to clarify the point, first half we were so relaxed, we dominated the game, but we were not aggressive enough".

The company had said it would designate its senior vice president of global affair, Kent Walker, to attend the hearing (he's appeared previously before the panel).

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