Twitter CEO to defend company before Congress against bias claims

Twitter CEO to defend company before Congress against bias claims

Twitter CEO to defend company before Congress against bias claims

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during a news conference at Station F, a mega-campus for startups located inside a former freight railway depot, in Paris, Jan. 17, 2017.

Axios technology reporter David McCabe on allegations of social media bias against conservative speech.

He said Twitter is committed to rooting out abusive activity and "hostile foreign influence".

The Twitter CEO will also make a solo appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Dorsey is expected to face tough questioning on allegations that the social platform has suppressed conservative voices.

Still, Sandberg says the company's overall understanding of the Russian activity in 2016 is limited "because we do not have access to the information or investigative tools" that the USA government has.

And Dorsey said Twitter was "unprepared and ill-equipped" to defend users against nefarious actors that have gamed the platform's services. The committee wanted Larry Page, the Chief Executive Officer of Google's parent company Alphabet, to testify as well, but the company insisted on sending a lower-level official, drawing the lawmakers' ire. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said Google doesn't "understand the problem" if it doesn't want to work with the government to find solutions. Only after CNN highlighted several tweets that clearly violated Twitter's TOS did the social media platform suspend Jones - and only for one week. Some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have pushed the idea that Twitter is "shadow banning" some in the GOP because of the ways search results have appeared.


On bias, the Twitter CEO said in prepared testimony before his second hearing that "Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules". It's not fair to large portions of the population", Trump said at a press conference last week.

Republicans control majorities in both the Senate and House, but the House's approach to the election issue has been far more partisan than the Senate's.

For more coverage of congressional hearings on social media, see the TOPLive blog.

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

A committee spokesperson said Walker's "commentary" was not testimony, adding, "We wish his enthusiasm for participating in the company's public hearing extended to his company's senior leadership, and that they were willing to answer the committee's questions".

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