Twitter CEO to defend company before Congress against bias claims

06 September, 2018, 07:47 | Author: Leah Owens
  • Donald Trump With a Phone Displaying Twitter Logo

Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey takes his seat as he arrives for a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing about Twitter's transparency and accountability, on Capitol Hill, September 5, 2018 in Washington, DC.

In the statement, spokesman Devin O'Malley said that the department had monitored a hearing of a Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, where Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) executives defended their companies before skeptical lawmakers.

In prepared remarks, Dorsey rejected claims that Twitter operates on the basis of political bias.

"The goal of Twitter is to serve the public conversation, and we do not make value judgments on personal beliefs", Dorsey said in his remarks. "Congress is going to have to take action here", he said.

Alphabet, Google's parent company, declined to send its chief executive Larry Page.

Representative Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the committee, said he was anxious that the Republicans were motivated by political concerns. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified to Congress about Facebook's role in the 2016 election in April.

Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat, blasted the hearing and Republicans, saying there is no evidence that the algorithms of social networks or search results are biased against conservatives. "It violated the values of our company and of the country we love".

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Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said in his opening statement that Twitter took no political positions.

"This interference was completely unacceptable".

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

The hearing comes after Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, said last month that Russian Federation has continued to attempt the kinds of online influence operations it allegedly ran on the social platforms to spread false information and sow divisiveness ahead of the 2016 USA presidential election. Twitter has been accused by some of suppressing conservative voices on the platform - which the company denied in July.

That was not to say that the role social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube play in shaping public discourse should no't be scrutinised by researchers and congressional committees, Abdo said.

The companies have conveyed to the commission that all sponsored content in favour of a political party, political leader or candidate will flag the concerned sponsor and the amount paid for posting the content on Facebook, WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), Google or Twitter.

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