Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Larry Page, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, have been invited to testify before committees on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
But they’re not there to spread the gospel of free speech, open internet or the wonders of technology. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence wants to talk about “Foreign influence operations and their use of social media platforms.” The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, meanwhile, has titled its hearing “Twitter: Transparency and Accountability.”
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“When decisions about data and content are made using opaque processes, the American people are right to raise concerns,” House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement. “This committee intends to ask tough questions.”
It’s hard to remember that Silicon Valley was once the darling of American industry, viewed by many as the country’s innovative heartland.
Four years ago, 76 percent of internet users Pew surveyed considered the online social climate to be “mostly kind,” even though harassment was actually a nonstop occurrence. Survey after survey glowed about tech and its impact on the world.
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