Social media vs. Congress: Watch the hearing highlights
10:00

Social media vs. Congress: Watch the hearing highlights

Tech Industry
Two weeks ago, your companies announced a series of successful disruption that resulted in the removal of 652 Facebook pages, groups, and accounts. And 284 Twitter accounts based on their violating your company's standards of coordinated manipulation and inauthentic behavior. Google's own internal security teams did commendable work disrupting this influence operation. And we would have valued the opportunity to speak with them at the appropriate level of corporate representation. Nevertheless, their efforts should be acknowledged. I'd say, thought, I'm deeply disappointed that Google One of the most influential digital platforms in the world, shows not to send it's own top corporate leadership to engage this committee. Cause I know our members have a series of difficult questions about structural vulnerabilities, a number of Google's platforms that we will need answers for. From Google Search, which continues to have problems surfacing absurd conspiracies, to YouTube, where Russian backed disinformation agents promoted hundreds of divisive videos. To GMail, where state sponsored operatives attempted countless hacking attempts. Google has an immense responsibility in this space. There's a report that as of last night, this just posted at 3:36 yesterday, this group went on basically pretending to be Kremlin-linked trolls. They used the details of the Internet Research Agency which is a Kremlin-linked troll farm. And were able to buy ads online and place them on sites like CNN, CBS This Morning, Huffpost, Daily Beast, so I'm sure they don't wanna be here to answer these questions. Perhaps Google didn't send a senior executive today because they've recently taken actions such as Terminating cooperation that they had with the American military with programs like artificial intelligence that are designed not just to protect our troops and help them fight and win our country's wars but to protect civilians as well. This is at the very same time that they continue to cooperate with the chinese communist party with matters like artificial intelligence or partner with. Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies are effectively arms of the Chinese Communist Party. And credible reports suggest that they are working to develop a new search engine that would satisfy the Chinese Communist Party's Censorship standards after having disclaimed any intent to do so eight years ago. Is there a technological way that you can determine that a video has been manipulated in that way and tag it? So that people on Facebook, if they see a video it will be tagged warning, this has been manipulated that may be misleading. We agree with you. Deep fakes is a new area, and we know people are gonna continue to find new ones. And as always, we're gonna do a combination of investing in technology and investing in people. So that people can see authentic information on our server. We have to be sure that we're not censoring, but at the same time we're providing our customers, our users, your users with information that they can. The context is the word I think you used. They can have context for what it is. That they're seeing. We, as we are building a digital public square, we do believe that expectations follow that, and that is a default to freedom of expression and opinion. And we need to understand when that default interferes with other fundamental human rights, such as physical security. Or privacy and what the adverse impact on those fundamental human rights are. And I do believe that context does matter in this case. We had a case of voter supression in Iran, 2016 that was tweeted out and we're happy to say that Organically, the number of impressions that we are calling it out as fake, were eight times that of the reach of the original Tweet. That's not to say that we can rely on that, but asking the question how we make that more possible and how we do it at velocity is the right one to ask. What metric should, are you using, to calculate the revenue that was generated Associated with those ads. And what is the dollar amount that is associated then, with that metric? Right. So the reason we can't answer the question to your satisfaction is that ads are not organic content. Ads don't run with inorganic content on our service, so there is actually no way to firmly ascertain How much ads are attached to how much organic content? It's not how it works. In trying to answer what percentage of the organic content- What percentage of the content on Facebook is inorganic? I don't have that specific answer but we can come back to you with that. Would you say it's the majority? Or- No, no. An insignificant amount? What percentage? You must know. If you asked whether inauthentic accounts on Facebook, we believe at any point in time it's 3-4% of accounts, but that's not the same answer inorganic intent because some accounts generate more content than others. I agree. I think it's important for people to understand the premise of this whole hearing. And the reason that Twitter somehow with all the other social media platforms out there got the singular honor to sit here in front of this committee, is because there is some implication that your site is trying to censor conservative voices on your platform. Now when you try to explain the shadow banning as I understand it You had system where if people who were following people, had some behaviors, that was the trigger that caused you to do the shadow banning. So you were really like an equal opportunity shadow banner, right? You didn't just shadow ban For conservative Republicans. You shadow banned 600,000 people across your entire platform across the globe who had people following them that had certain behaviors that caused you to downgrade them coming up. Is that correct? Correct. And then you determined that wasn't fair. And you corrected that practice. Right. Is that correct? Correct. So just for the record, Twitter undertook no behavior to selectively sensor conservative Republicans or conservative voices on your platform. Is that correct? Correct. Well Meghan McCain's husband complained a lot on Twitter over the weekend because of a doctored image of Meghan McCain It was put up on Twitter and then it seemed like it took forever for that to come down. Is there not some way that people can, I understand their algorithms, I understand that you have to have checks and balances. But really it shouldn't take hours for something that's that egregious to be addressed. Absolutely, and that was unacceptable and we don't want to use our scale as an excuse here. We do need to prioritize, we need to do two things. Number one we can't place the burden on the victims and that means we need to build technology so that we are not waiting for reports. We're actively looking for instances. While we do have reports, and while we do, while we are making those changes and building that technology, we need to do a better job at prioritizing, especially any sort of violent or threatening information. In this particular case, this was an image. And we just didn't apply the image filter to recognize what was going on in real time. So we did take way too many hours to act and we are using that as a lesson in order to help improve our systems. Your legal and [UNKNOWN] team told Politico yesterday That I hold. And there is not a blanket exception for the president or anyone else when it comes to abusive tweeting. Do you consider President Trump's tweets to be amusive or harmful at all? We hold every account to the same standards and consistency of our enforcement. We do have a clause within our terms of service that allows for public interest and understand of public interest per tweet, and we definitely weigh that as we consider enforcement. [BLANK_AUDIO] What's she saying, I can't understand her, what? What she, [INAUDIBLE]. [UNKNOWN] Officer, will you escort this young lady out, please? [UNKNOWN] [INAUDIBLE] I yield back. [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE] [BLANK_AUDIO] Somehow I think our auctioneer in residence is gonna get tweeted about today.

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