Google, Facebook and Twitter to testify at US Senate

The representative will explain what they're doing to stop international political influence on their platforms

US Senate

Three of the biggest tech firms in the world will appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week to explain how they're making sure their platforms are not being detrimentally affected by foreign influence.

Facebook's chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter's chief executive Jack Dorsey and Alphabet's chief executive Larry Page will all need to explain how they are dealing with influence from foreign players that could be corrupting their systems.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has summoned the parties to give evidence at one of its hearings before, but this is the first time that the senior company bosses will attend. The first open hearing happened at the beginning of August and was attended by representatives from the German Marshall Fund, the Oxford Internet Institute and New Knowledge.

They discussed how social media platforms are being used to influence individuals in a worrying way. Researcher Renee DiResta, who testified at the hearing earlier this month said "addressing this asymmetric threat requires a 21st century Information Operations Doctrine, the implementation of a global real-time detection and deterrence strategy, and the cooperation of private industry, press, law enforcement, and the intelligence community."

The move comes as a follow up to the controversy surrounding the US presidential elections, where it was revealed Russian Facebook users had used the platform to unfairly influence the elections. Facebook and Twitter have started banning accounts on its platforms that are suspected to be involved in political meddling - specifically those originating from Iran and Russia.

Although Twitter has started making steps to eradicate suspect parties, it commented it does not have information to share with the committee.

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