Social media giants testify before Congress

On Nov. 1, Facebook, Twitter and Google testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina opened the hearing positively towards the companies, praising them for their ability to allow lawmakers to better connect with their constituents. He elaborated on how social media and the internet are a large part of our lives. However, the committee then became critical of the social media giants, especially Facebook. “Why has it taken Facebook 11 months to come forward and help us understand the scope of this problem, see it clearly for the problem it is and begin to work in a responsible legislative way to address it?” Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware asked. Facebook has recently acknowledged the presence of  politically-motivated ads that were targeted at the American people through its service. Evidence has shown 126 million of the company’s users saw inflammatory ads that were purchased by Kremlin-linked company Internet Research Agency. During the ongoing discussion of Russian political involvement, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg commented dismissing the allegations that the website hosted foreign political ads, calling it, “a crazy idea.” Zuckerberg and Facebook have since attempted to assuage Congress and the general public that they are doing everything in their power to combat the developing problem of foreign interference in U.S. elections by launching an internal investigation, as well as promising...

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