Facebook, Twitter may testify before US Congress

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San Francisco: Amid reports that Russia-based organisations purchased ads on Facebook before the 2016 US presidential poll, a Senate Committee is considering inviting Facebook and Twitter to testify on misinformation spread on their platforms.

The calls for the social media platform’s representatives to appear before the Congress came from Senator Mark Warner, ReCode reported on Tuesday.

Facebook has acknowledged that Russian-controlled pages and accounts spent $100,000 on ads meant to “amplify divisive social and political messages” before the election.

However, it has not released the contents of those ads, citing “privacy” concerns.

“We’re seeing more evidence of additional ads and how they are used to manipulate individuals,” Warner was quoted as saying.

“I think, one of the reasons why we need to bring in Facebook, Twitter and others in some level of public hearing, is that this opens a whole new arena,” Warner added.

Warner said he planned to discuss the potential for a public hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee and its Chairman, Senator Richard Burr.

“I’ll grant Facebook that maybe they weren’t as fully aware in the immediate aftermath of our elections, although for many months they said this didn’t happen. I’ve wondered about that,” Warner said.

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