Social Media Sites Face Hearings on Fake News and Hate Speech

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In prepared testimony, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that his company does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether the decision is related to how it enforces its rules or how it ranks content on its  platform.

Dorsey testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Dorsey maintained that Twitter believes in being impartial and strives to enforce its rules accordingly. Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter’s Dorsey testified before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in September regarding efforts to not only prevent but also identify efforts by foreign governments to spread fake news on the platforms.

The hearing was part of an ongoing government effort to address evidence of meddling done by Russia during the 2016 US Presidential elections. Dorsey made an appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he faced several allegations with respect to the social network suppressing conservative voices.

To this, Dorsey said that political bias does not affect how Twitter’s algorithm sorts political content.

Earlier, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, had testified before the Congress on his company’s internal practices just after the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal.

Critics have been accusing Twitter of “shadowbanning Republicans”, or using algorithms to make their posts virtually invisible to many users. Google executives were also invited by congressional leaders to testify at the hearings, but they declined the invitation.

The U.S. President joins the critics

U.S. President Trump has also censured Twitter, Facebook and Google in a series of press conferences and tweets for allegedly displaying political bias against conservatives. At a recent press conference, the President said, “Google and Twitter and Facebook, they’re really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful. It’s not fair to large portions of the population.”

The Justice Department said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will meet with state attorneys general to talk about concerns that tech companies may be hurting competition and constraining the free exchange of ideas on their social media platforms.

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