Google, Facebook and Twitter face Congress over extremist content

The hearing comes a week after tech giants gave evidence on Russian election interference

Twitter, Facebook and Google are set to give evidence to the US Congress about how they're battling extremism, explaining the steps they've each taken to combat such content on their platforms.

The three companies will need to tell the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation how they are attempting to stop extremist messages spreading across their networks in a hearing called "Terrorism and Social Media: Is Big Tech Doing Enough?"

The tech firms will also be asked to show they're making significant steps to stamp out other hateful or conspiratorial content on their platforms - something they've been forced to develop over the last few years as their social networks are increasingly being abused to distribute these kinds of messages.

The hearing will take place on 17 January, a week after the same companies were given a deadline to provide evidence in the case regarding Russian meddling in the US election.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Facebook and Google met the deadline, and [with] voluminous amounts of information, Twitter did not," Senator Mark Warner told Axios. "I'm disappointed in Twitter."

"They need to understand when they bring in their senior executives and testify before Congress, when Congress then has follow-up written questions, we expect them to answer those questions," Warner added. "So if it's a day or two, fine, but if this is one more attempt for them to kind of punt on their responsibility, that will not go down well with the committee."

However, Twitter claimed it needs more time to get satisfying answers. "We are continuing to work closely with committee investigators to provide detailed, thorough answers to their questions," Twitter said in a statement. "As our review is ongoing, we want to ensure we are providing Congress with the most complete, accurate answers possible." 

In next week's hearing, Facebook, Twitter and Google will reportedly send their heads of public policy rather than senior executives, which Warner said is perhaps not the best approach if they want to make a positive impact.

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/cloud/amazon-web-services-aws/354223/what-to-expect-from-aws-reinvent-2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019
Visit/hardware/354232/raspberry-pi-4-owners-complain-of-broken-wi-fi-when-using-hdmi
Hardware

Raspberry Pi 4 owners complain of broken Wi-Fi when using HDMI

29 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/google-android/354189/samsung-galaxy-a90-5g-review-simply-the-best-value-5g-phone
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019