Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions about their platform's roles in the 2016 United States presidential election and any Russian interference in the democratic process via the social networks.
In prepared remarks released Tuesday by the Energy and Commerce Committee, Dorsey said his company "does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules".
"We've removed hundreds of pages and accounts involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior - meaning they misled others about who they were and what they were doing", Sandberg told the Senate Intelligence Committee. While the tweets were clearly prepared to go beforehand, this is the first time someone live-tweeted their testimony from the hot seat at a congressional hearing.
"The premise of this whole hearing and the reason that Twitter somehow... got the singular honor to sit in front of this committee", Doyle said, "is because there's some implication that your site is trying to censor conservative voices on your platform". "Congress is going to have to take action here", he said.
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.
"These are expensive investments, but that will not stop us because we know they are critical, she said".
"That's on us", she wrote.
Before the hearing, President Donald Trump, without offering evidence, accused the companies themselves of interfering in the upcoming USA mid-term elections, telling the Daily Caller that social media firms are "super liberal".
Referring to such companies, which include Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, Trump told the conservative news outlet in an interview conducted on Tuesday that "I think they already have" interfered in the November 6 election.
Sandberg's appearance came several months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in highly publicized Capitol Hill hearings. 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. Rubio slams movie for omitting Armstrong planting American flag on the moon MORE (R-Fla.), who's also on the committee, suggested Google didn't attend either "because they're arrogant" or because of aBuzzFeed News story published Tuesday that showed researchers reportedly posing as Russian trolls were able to purchase ads on the search platform.
Senate leaders rejected Google's offer to make Kent Walker, its senior vice president and chief legal officer, available for the hearings.