Google snubs Senate hearings on election meddling

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly stepped in to save Alex Jones Richard Spencer from bans

As Facebook, Twitter and Google officials prepare for a marathon day of congressional hearings on Wednesday to address concerns about fake news and political bias on their sites, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is set to defend his platform from allegations of censorship.

Twitter does not operate on the basis of "political ideology", chief executive Jack Dorsey said Wednesday, rejecting claims of bias against conservatives. US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 campaign with the aim of tilting the election in Trump's favor, a finding that Moscow has denied.

"The committee takes this issue very seriously, and we appreciate that Facebook and Twitter are represented here this morning with an equivalent and appropriate measure of seriousness", Senator Burr of North Carolina said. "The actions we've taken in response - beginning with the steps Facebook's General Counsel, Colin Stretch, outlined to this Committee past year - show our determination to do everything we can to stop this kind of interference from happening".

This acceptance of a large amount of responsibility generated enough reaction on, ironically, social media, that the Facebook COO became a trending topic on Twitter.

Investors were seemingly unimpressed by the execs' statements ー shares of Facebook, Twitter, and Dorsey's other company Square were all down along with the broader social media and tech space midday. Both Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Virginia, lambasted Google for failing to sent a top representative.

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President Donald Trump used Twitter on July 26 to fault the website, without evidence, for using so-called shadow banning, or limiting the visibility of, prominent Republicans.

Instead, an empty chair, complete with a glass of water, joined Sandberg and Dorsey on the dais.

"Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules", Dorsey said in prepared remarks to a congressional hearing with U.S. technology giants.

Google did release written "testimony" from Walker ahead of the hearing, even though he was not expected to appear. "It violated the values of our company and of the country we love".

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