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Lawyers from Facebook, Twitter and Google face Congress amid Russia probe


Lawyers from Facebook, Twitter and Google face Congress amid Russia probe

Legal counsel of Facebook, Google and Twitter testify before Congress
Legal counsel of Facebook, Twitter and Google testify before Congress
Photo: Reuters/Jim Bourg

Lawyers from Facebook, Google and Twitter will be questioned by the House and Senate intelligence committees today. The three companies will each be grilled over their role in Russia’s attempts to influence last year’s election.

Today’s testimonies are timely, as US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were charged on Monday, while a former foreign policy aide to the presidential campaign pleaded guilty to providing false statements to the FBI.

All three companies have provided Congress with evidence of Russian-sponsored propaganda being used on their services. Today’s congressional hearings are expected to illuminate how Russian accounts used their services, who those accounts targeted, how the tech giants responded and how they intend to combat future propaganda campaigns.

As such, expect all three companies to emphasise their commitment to dealing with this problem. Facebook will provide Congress with over 300 ads identified as Russian-sponsored, Twitter will likely commit to shutting down Russian-backed bot accounts and Google may attempt to halt propaganda ads from running on its YouTube video service.

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