Facebook, Twitter to testify before US Congress, Google mum

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San Francisco, Oct 5: Facebook and Twitter will appear before US Congress to testify into Russian interference during the 2016 US presidential election while Google was yet to confirm.

The three companies have been invited to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on November 1, ReCode reported late on Wednesday.

“Facebook and Twitter have not yet shared whether their Chief Executives — Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, respectively — would testify in front of Senate investigators,” the report added.

“As we noted in our blog post last week, we are cooperating with these investigations in Russian interference in the 2016 election,” a Twitter spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

An estimated 10 million people in the US saw the Russian ads that were present on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election, the social media giant revealed this week, while finally handing over nearly 3,000 Russian political ads worth $100,000 to the US Congress.

Facebook said that 44 per cent of total ad impressions (number of times ads were displayed) were before the election on November 8, 2016, while 56 per cent were shown after the election.

Twitter has also announced that it deleted over 200 fake Russian accounts and identified Russia Today of buying ads targeted at American users’ accounts.

“Based on our findings thus far, RT spent $274,100 in US ads in 2016. In that year, the three RT accounts promoted 1,823 tweets that definitely or potentially targeted the US market,” Twitter said.

Google has launched a probe into the role its services could have played in the Russian interference.

“Google is conducting a broad internal investigation to determine whether Russian-linked entities used its ads or services to try to manipulate voters ahead of the US election,” media reports said.


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