Executives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter will appear this afternoon before the US Senate Judiciary Committee as a part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Lawmakers will be grilling the tech execs about use of their platforms in an attempt to sway the election in favor of the Republican nominee Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Congress is trying to better understand exactly how Russian operatives were able to use social media to spread disinformation, buy sponsored posts, employ bots to open fake accounts, and foment public distrust in the political system.
A big thrust of the hearing will also focus on how the government and tech companies can fight “fake news” and other extremist content.
The hearing is to start at 2:30 pm US eastern time and you can watch it live here on the Senate website, and also below, via PBS News Hour.
Today’s is the first of three hearings: The Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime andTerrorism, chaired by Lindsay Graham, followed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence tomorrow morning, and the House Intelligence Committee tomorrow afternoon, which will likely be the most fiery and contentious round of questioning.
The tech companies aren’t sending their CEOs, so you won’t see Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey this afternoon, but instead their general counsels and legal experts. Facebook’s Colin Stretch will appear, along with Twitter’s Sewan Edgett, and Google’s Kent Walker and Richard Sanlango.