Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to testify before Congress on extremist content

Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube officials are returning to the nation’s capital next week.

Representatives from the tech firms are scheduled to testify before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Jan. 17 about how they’re combating extremist content online.

The hearing, which is titled “Terrorism and Social Media: #IsBigTechDoingEnough?,” comes months after the companies’ lawyers were grilled by lawmakers about ads purchased by Russians during the presidential election in 2016.

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Russian officials have denied using social media ads to meddle in the U.S. election.

Silicon Valley tech firms, including social media companies, have been grappling with how their technology could be used to divide people.

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed to focus this year on fixing some of the problems plaguing the social media site, such as abuse, hate speech and interference from nation states.

In September, Twitter reported that it suspended 299,649 accounts for promoting terrorism from January to June 2017.

Lawmakers, though, won’t be questioning the company CEOs.

Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management;  Juniper Downs, YouTube’s global head of public policy and Government Relations; and Carlos Monje, Twitter’s Director of Public Policy and Philanthropy, are scheduled to attend the hearing.

It starts at 10 a.m. and will also be streamed online.

Photo by Getty Images

 

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