Facebook, Twitter and Google testify Tuesday on Capitol Hill, and the companies are expected to tell senators that Russian interference efforts in the 2016 presidential election were broader than was originally thought. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he has reason to believe Facebook (and Twitter and Google, which saw similar disinformation campaigns) still has yet to fully uncover the full extent of the meddling.
Americans are very wary of tech companies' ability to stop foreign governments trying to influence U.S. elections through the respective platforms, according to a poll conducted by Axios.
Google disclosed that it had found 1,108 videos with 43?hours of content related to the Russian effort on YouTube.
Twitter is expected to announce that the number of Russia-linked accounts associated with election interference is not 200 but 2,700, according to documents acquired by Recode, and that together they tweeted some 1.4 million times about the election.
Twitter, meanwhile, said in written testimony released before the hearings that it had found far more accounts linked to the same Russian operatives, working with an organization known as the Internet Research Agency.
The three companies' general counsels will appear before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday and the House and Senate Intelligence panels Wednesday.
Facebook's terms of service prohibit content that is "hate speech, threatening, or. incites violence". Earlier this month, our VP of Public Policy Joel Kaplan provided additional details on what we're doing to make advertising more transparent, increase requirements for authenticity and strengthen our enforcement against ads that violate our policies.
To do it, the company will need to shift the focus of its metrics. Several news outlets obtained prepared statements from all three companies. Independents, on the other hand, by far have the least confidence in the federal government's capabilities in such a respect, with only 9 percent saying its the most trusted group, and 49 percent overall saying "neither".
The company also found that two accounts linked to the Russian troll farm spent a total of $4,700 on search and display ads during the 2016 election cycle.
Facebook plans to begin labeling ads as paid content, so it's clear to users; and the company is regularly removing extremist interests - like KKK - from the advertising bucket. If you want to reach white supremacists, you can no longer target people with an interest in the KKK and David Duke. But in reality, it's hard to imagine that one of the largest, richest firms in the world would risk throwing everything away-and probable jail time-just to improve targeted advertising.
Google and Twitter have also investigated Russian-backed content appearing on their sites.
Inflammatory messaging distributed by Russian agents intended to influence the US elections last year apparently reached as many as 126m Facebook users.
"When it was Harvard or just the Ivies, they had norms that worked", says Tarleton Gillespie, a communications expert at Microsoft Research who is writing a book about harmful speech online titled Custodians of the Internet.
Lawmakers have pressured the social media companies to come forward and have criticized them for not being fully forthcoming immediately after the election. Now the company is scrambling to figure out how to monitor and quantify the bad.