Facebook, Google, Twitter Execs Have Sept. 5 Date With Senate Panel (1)

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By Alexis Kramer

Senior executives from Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., and Alphabet Inc.'s Google will testify Sept. 5 before the Senate Intelligence Committee on foreign influence over social media, the panel’s top Democrat said.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said the committee wants to hear the companies’ plans and urge them to do more to prevent foreign actors from trying to manipulate American discourse over the internet.

“I know they can do better to protect our democracy,” Warner said during an Aug. 1 committee hearing on foreign influences on U.S. social media. “They have the creativity, expertise, resources, and technological capability to get ahead of these malicious actors.”

Lawmakers are continuing to press social media companies to boost transparency on their sites in light of election meddling concerns. Facebook said July 31 it removed 32 pages and accounts allegedly connected to an ongoing effort to influence the U.S. midterm elections.

Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said he hopes in September that the three companies’ executives will show a “willingness” to come up with a solution.

“They owe it to the American people to communicate clearly and transparently what they view their role to be, and what they’re doing to combat these foreign operations,” he said.

Facebook and Twitter spokespeople declined to comment. A Google spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a Bloomberg Law request for comment.

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