US lawmakers grill Twitter CEO, Facebook’s Sandberg

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Washington– Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday appeared before the US Congress, admitting to the lawmakers that they were “too slow to act” and “ill-prepared” to tackle foreign interference on their platforms.

According to The Washington Post, Sandberg told the US Senate Intelligence Committee that they were too slow to spot this and too slow to act. That’s on us.”

“This interference was completely unacceptable. It violated the values of our company and of the country we love,” she was quoted as saying.

This was the second time a top Facebook executive was grilled by the US lawmakers this year. In April, CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the lawmakers over the massive Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Dorsey said Twitter found itself “unprepared and ill-equipped for the immensity of the problems”.

“Abuse, harassment, troll armies, propaganda through bots and human coordination, disinformation campaigns and divisive filter bubbles — that’s not a healthy public square,” the Twitter CEO was quoted as saying.

“Required changes won’t be fast or easy,” he added.

Dorsey was later set to appear before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in a hearing on online censorship of conservative opinions and misinformation activities ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

In a prepared written testimony posted on Tuesday by the House Committee, Dorsey said Twitter will remain an “impartial” “global town square”, and it does “not shadowban anyone based on political ideology”.

“To serve the public conversation, Twitter is incentivized to keep all voices on the platform,” he said.

The Twitter CEO’s testimony came a few days after US President Donald Trump accused US tech companies of trying to “silence” conservative voices.

Twitter has constantly denied the claims by Republicans that conservative accounts were shadow-banned or their opinions were censored on the platform. (IANS)



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