tv Washington Journal Nancy Scola CSPAN September 11, 2018 12:30am-1:12am EDT
handled the opioid crisis. the house this summer packed a big bill. a number of bills. 40, 50 bills package. they are expected to have a vote on thursday. the senate scheduled this week is truncated. the pivotal up in the air, but they are indicating that like to have a vote by thursday in the package would need to be reconciled with a house bill before it can be sent to the president's desk. >> will continue to follow you, storms and all on twitter in your reporting as well as ap news.com. thank you so much. >> thank you, stephanie. >> "politico" reporter nancy scola was her guest on
washington journal to discuss how all social media companies are dealing with foreign influence on their platforms. it is 40 minutes. >> this is nancy scola who covers technology. served as technology reporter for "politico" here to talk about social media executives. good morning. a picture of two people appearing at these hearings. talk to viewers about who is on capitol hill and why they were there. >> yesterday morning, sheryl sandberg, chief operating officer testified before the intelligence committee on election security committee as a social media platforms by foreign adversaries and was joined by the ceo of twitter, jackck dorsey and then jack gota quick lunch break and travel to the other side of capitol hill to the house energy and commerce committee are hearing where he testified on the idea of twitter might be biased and
conservative. >> what's the significance you had these platforms talking about these types of issues in front of legislators? >> it's been a long time coming. the idea they didn't do enough in the election coming from russia. they were by their own admission somewhat slow to take responsibility forhe that. much of the testimony was acknowledging where slow to act. theificant to have them on hill. a little bit of push and pull about getting them inn the project is for his testimony in congress has been the ceo of twitter for quite some time. it was pretty significant to have them answering questions. google is also invited. they declined to send their parent company the significance in some of these turns.
>> if they admitted they were so i'm this, but did that result because of that. >> it's a bit of a long process by their own admission. they put a lot of money into hiring human been working on technologies. they figured out ways to detect signs coming from people that want high when the platform and when i tried to register on the process of using the platform. they work on that transparency is one of the complaints during thesp election was out on social media would be placed by people we didn't know who they were. the same disclaimers saying paid for by candidate x or committee acts. they have voluntarily adopted some disclaimers so that's an additional step is taken. we'll say they're open to it, they've resisted the idea of having regulation at
transparency. they're eager to take steps voluntarily so they don't have to regulate the question. >> whether more regulation was needed and must be thinking i'm not currently? >> we are still in the push and pull faith to please yourself or will step and regulate. we are seeing conservatives and republicans in congress raised the idea that if you don't act were going to have to which is a major change than in the y past host: calling in to join usn of discussion on the ceos facebook and twitter. if you would like to ask a ,uestion, it is (202) 748-8000 democrats. (202) 748-8001, republicans. (202) 748-8002, independent voters. you could also post a comment on our facebook page. interference piece
done, jack dorsey went to the house to talk about another issue? guest: there has been a complaint raised by conservatives with the the last month which has ramped up in recent weeks because trump has embraced the issue. an idea that social media platforms are making decisions about what content to allow and what advertisements to allow. that they are biased against conservatives. there is a debate about whether there -- about whether this is intentional or not intentional. in some ways, companies operate in a black box. they wanted to bring folks into testify. response?what was the adamant that the company is not intentionally biased. that the i got -- that the ideology and no way relates to
the platform. as theyacknowledge that process huge quantities of tweets and advertisements every day that some of the decisions they might make might have the using the platform. one of the examples that has come up recently is the idea that there was a search function on twitter that when you typed in members of congress' name, some of them didn't auto populate. to more dramatically affect by conservatives. and jack dorsey testified that they had been experiment in with using a new signal to determine how to break people in the function. it was based on the quality of the followers of the users. unintentionally discriminate against conservative voices. he testified that when things are brought to our attention,
with the unintentional effects, they addressed quickly. companies are pretty on that they don't want to lose the conservative users. so they are pretty adamant that intentionally.s host: did they sway critics on the panel? guest: i think so. it was only jack dorsey testified alone. i think he handled himself well. and members seemed pretty responsive to him personally. think he has proven that he has no intention of discriminating godless of what personal ideology would be -- informationng regardless of what his personal ideology would be. some said that it would not spare -- that it was not fair for him to be there without other platforms.
the committee argued that twitter has become such a platform -- the first argument is that we are open to having all the companies testify. but twitter is assumed such a central role in the political conversations for the country, because the president uses it frequently to profess his opinion, so that there is a need to focus on the platform and how it is operating. host: one of the topics that came up with the idea of shadow accounts. what are they? guest: it is a term for some of the decisions made about how the , taking is interactive a step back that there is so much content so they cannot promote everyone. the very meant is that in those decisions, like the search functionality -- it can make it harder to find accounts.
shadow banning includes that and that if you click on a hashtag, in some cases, accounts aren't appearing so there is that conversation that their argument is that they have to manage the content in some way. i can'ttives say that know that you are not seeing my tweets. that i'm hidden. host: (202) 748-8000, democrats. (202) 748-8001, republicans. (202) 748-8002 independent voters. it was during that conversation went jack dorsey had a conversation with greg walden. here's the exchange. >> in one example of many, important conservatives representatives have come to us and say they were not shown in the automatically populated drop-down searches on twitter. correct? than 300 the more
active twitter users, why did this only happened to certain accounts? in other words, what did the algorithm take into account that led to prominent conservatives including members of the u.s. house of representatives not being included in auto search populations? >> thank you for the question. we use hundreds of signals to determine and decide what to show and what to down break or potentially, what to filter. in this particular case, we were using a signal of the behavior of the people following accounts. , upon didn't believe further consideration and seeing the impact -- which was about 600,000 accounts, a pretty broad base, that it was ultimately fair so we did decide to correct that. wasn't decided that it
fair to use this signal for filtering in general. so we decided to correct that within the search as well. one, important for us to, able to experiment freely with these signals. and to have the freedom to be able to inject them and remove them. we going tonly way learn. we will make mistakes along the way. and the way we want to be judged is by making sure we recognize those and then we correct them. responsek about his and his style in approaching the legislators? guest: he is very deliberate and very thoughtful. came by the political world headquarters for an interview at to sit down with our editorial team before his interview. thought aboutly these issues. he presents himself in that way and he speaks of very deliberately.
has been some commentary about his appearance. fair or not. scraggly beard. one of the members of the committee said, i don't know what the ceo of twitter should look like but it is not that. and he said, yes, i agree. host: they have staffers that handle the legislature and what happened on capitol hill directly. guest: yes. and it is different in the ways the different companies approach washington. a d.c. officeave that is loosely tethered to the main headquarters. twitter has operated in that way recently toe worked integrate their washington team
more into the corporate leadership team which seems to be coming across in the successful way they have approach washington in recent months. host: nancy scola joins us. we start with alan. go ahead. caller: how are you? callingis alan and i'm partly because the lady had the claim by conservatives that the media discriminates against them. make theted to following statement. vidal made a comment that to me has always been most constructive and helpful. in it, the comment went like this. he said, in europe, what we in america called a liberal, in europe is called a conservative. america's what we at
word in europe recalled a fascist. and i have long thought this was helpful. contextualizes the difference. in i think a lot of the old america called themselves conservatives are really crypto fascist swell a lot of the people who call themselves liberals are really pretty moderately conservative. host: how does that direct itself to social media use? way it i think the directs itself to social media that it has unfortunately been lost sight of my a lot of people on social media. i think it all was one of the most instructive people who could teach us a lot.
the most recent complaints -- trump has picked up this idea that social media and online forms are biased against conservatives and him. one of the arguments he points to recently is that when he searches google news for stories about trump, they are largely negative. google's response and the response of many others say they are pulling from mainstream media sources that run headlines that are negative. the read on the president is often very negative. and the president argues, you should be pulling from sources that are not mainstream but are more supportive of me. past, google has never had to wrestle with that. because they said that if we take a snapshot of the mainstream media, we take a snapshot of what people are saying online. we are at the point where more broadly in the country, we are not agreeing on sets of facts or
thinking about the world. so google newly has to wrestle with that. now there's a debate about whether this impacts the world at large. new jersey, days is next. caller: when twitter and facebook -- when they offered the initial public offering, i think they traded at $42 and then they dropped down to $20 and now they have gone up to wherever they are now and they are little bit less. yesterday i pulled about $250,000 out of twitter and facebook. i don't like the politics. that is all there is to it. guest: jack dorsey was careful to say he is a registered the employeeut
base is more left-leaning. that is something companies have to wrestle with. and whether that matters to americans. twitter and facebook, they have said they need to take steps to clean up platforms. because it may well affect their stock prices. wall street has not responded to this overwhelmingly positively it is a have said that hit they are willing to take in the short term. host: from virginia beach, julia is next. caller: my question is that these people in congress think are -- the millennials -- naive about algorithms. but they know a lot more about what is going on than we do. so if twitter was to go up there and tell politicians what is millennials like the
freedom and everything they do. and the gentleman who just called about europe never grew up in europe. he has no idea how the communist and socialist were. i remember being in school and we had to shut our schools down because they burned the school buses. so the gentleman has no idea. guest: one of the things -- again, maybe this is a superficial observation but jack dorsey is now 42-year-old. even mark zuckerberg is now a full grown adult. the caller mentioned millennials. in a way, there was a handoff approach because they were young people figuring things out. now they fully entered the era when they are expected to be responsible for the decisions they make and that is some of the treatment they are seeing for them now is that a chance to experiment and innovate and
people do need a little bit of freedom to experiment but now your health accountable. so i think the approach that the company is have has shifted. ok, we need to grow up a little bit and engage with this political process. host: so the question that legislators pose, do you get a sense that they get the nuance did thel media -- how nature of the questions reflect that? at least a subtle knowledge of what is going on? guest: the immediate feedback on twitter is -- oh my gosh, these questions are rudimentary. they don't reflect the fact that understand.ongress yesterday, we didn't hear that. we are now seeing members of congress refine questions on that.
that have been questions where we see committees get deeply involved in this that maybe have more expertise. the senate committee has done a lot of work on the social media front so they have developed a way of talking about these positions that we didn't see previously. the: there was a story in alice news recently about a group of conservatives inside facebook complaining to their leadership about the diversity of voices that facebook expresses. guest: you certainly hear this. there's a push to diversify the companies. they have been overly ail and overly white. companies do have a response to that. there hasn't been a follow-up response that ok, the companies are also overly liberal and left-leaning. so there is a push to include ideological diversity. the criteria they used to think about holding their employee base.
it hasn't gained a ton of traction but you do hear people who in washington may be thought of as moderates, they don't feel free expressing their opinion. it is certainly a sentiment that is building. host: nancy scola is joining us for this discussion. indiana is next on the republican line. go ahead. caller: they were filtering by followers, of the what is the quality follower? guest: i would like to know as well. they don't divulge many details. that jack dorsey did testify on that yesterday. that they were using follower folksy to determine the -- it is on my to do list to dig into that. host: matt from virginia.
hello. i am a teacher. part of my job is to teach our students information literacy and sources and what are legitimate sources. and i feel like if you look at younger generations understand about information literacy, they are able to navigate social media and use it and understand what is information and what is entertainment. 2006, i started to notice that a lot of my elder family were starting to share things on you to or social media that were completely false and i would have to constantly send on articles and that ways to show them they were just passing on false information from social media and i feel like we have to do a
better job of giving people who didn't get the opportunity to get information literacy because they were born well after -- born well before it was presented -- we have to give them ways to understand what is true and false on the internet. guest: that is something that has come up. i think there is an idea that -- i am risking getting in trouble here -- but some generations when they got on facebook or social media -- they felt free to share things, not necessarily knowing if it was true. because was true. because with a playground, not real life. what i think some of the debates around social media and the 2016 election and the use of russian adversaries, it was very easy to spread information on the platform because americans were pretty willing to share it. these book in particular has taken steps to address what people say is fake news or disinformation.
early on in the efforts, they tried to label things using third-party fact checkers, saying that this isn't true but they found that people were then more willing to share. so they have switched up the approach of it now. dissentingtach views. so if there is an article that isn't true, they provide a fact check or third-party information says hey, this is another way of thinking about this. host: let's hear from sheryl sandberg yesterday. again, the whole hearing is available online at c-span.org but she talked about platform members on fighting foreign interference. >> we are focused as they know you are in the upcoming midterms and elections around the world. our efforts in recent elections for germany to italy to mexico to the alabama special senate election chose as the investments we are making are
yielding results. we also know us chairman person we cannot stop interference byan ourselves. we are working with outside experts, industry partners and governments including one for a sin to share information about threat and prevent use. we get better at finding and ngstopping our opponents from financially motivated firms to sophisticate military operations. the intelligence government have access to so we don't always know exactly who is behind the attacks or their motives and that is why we will continue working closely with law enforcementrk. >> could you expand on the final part but their interest is particularly working with law enforcement? >> one of the responses after the election was they were slow to come to the idea that they had responsibility in controlling platforms for foreign interference. one of the quieter argument you made the wise facebook meant to be the one and all the american
institutions the one controlling platforms. this is something the intelligence community and the national security world is to put a little more effort into takers on stability for. there's been a lot of effort in the nationalal security world cover the intelligence community in this company so they can share information about threat and information about what they say on the platform with intelligence that can be shared back with other companies. the companies have made the point that we need more help in detecting and facebook to determine what russia or now i ran people have identified they shouldn't be responsible for figuring out how to counter iran. >> this is terry from papers though, pennsylvania. >> good morning, c-span. thanks for taking my call. just a really basic question of this is of a conspiracy kind of question. i'm a republican. i don't believe the same thing
but i do believe there's foreign influence. an older guy, not a social media guy but i do get on there. i've never been able to see examples come to either videos the actual verbiage for what was actually taken place on websites where they can show me so i would know how i was influenced or what was given to me that was false. i've never seen it presented on the news anywhere. is there somewhere we can go to actually see that it was posted to save these are all the fake news things about the postings by russia or of the mother so we can see them to actually look at them. then i guess, for sure. a couple things both twitter and facebook have taken steps through the good news is if you didn't get an e-mail from twitter saying you're exposed to disinformation campaign anywhere. here's the things he looked at that might've been sort of on
the platform. facebook has an opportunity to blockade and see the same thing if you had to engage the content or accounts of anyway. this is an unsatisfying answer but the senate intelligence committee posted a number c of examples of advertisements. we did to release by the company showing exactly thee disinformation they place on the platform. >> attorney general jeff sessions concerning himself into the larger discussion of social media. with his interest to most interested in? >> in between the testimony for jack dorsey, the department of justice released a very short statement saying after watching the initial senate. election interference that they watched the hearing closely in that they were announcing the attorney general session, jeff sessions would meet with a number of state attorneys general to discuss social media
companies, particularly issues raised about competition and the idea they might be stifling free speech in a way sent us scrambling to figure out what exactly they meant. it's not entirely clear that the department of justice might apply to these companies and how that might be used to answer some of these questions. still trying to figure out what's going on with that. the meeting scheduled for september 25th. a couple weeks to figure what's going on. the mac is there a wide behind this? >> the cynical reporters think this is an issue president trump has embraced recently department of justice might be interested in looking into it for that reason. i put this to the justice department and they said no jeff sessions has had a long interest in this topic and they are sort of following through on that. the timing of releasing it in between the two hearing from a reference in the first hearing certainly made it seem like there was a little bit of a sort ofc approach to get in the highest profile for
what they should research this material. they need to expand their searches and viewing platform to get correct answers. >> one of the dynamics one of the reasons that companies don't have responsibility to police what happens on their platforms actively is the communications decency standard but they have limited liability so the idea is facebook and not grow they had to review every piece of content. but there are steps they have taken now determine is raising concerns among advocates it could open up to resending some of that limited liability
so they would be more responsible and valley is pretty worried about that because that they don't have atthat limited liability so that twitter hearing it has been called moments it is curated so how do you not act as a news publisher if you have human beingsin looking at human beings and then putting that into presented content? how does that not prove we no longer need those exemptions? >> so this will satisfy congress or do they want toisfy hear more from these platforms about those issues rated yesterday whether on the content side? >> seems to be the of the
social media companies there has been legislation around election protection with the social media component but also bias on the platforms attorney general sessions said yesterday it's not going anywhere anytime soon. >> democratic line go ahead. >> caller: i just want to say i believe social media censorship could be a slippery slope. i have always been left-wing i believe people should sayan what they want i was born and woodstock it was pretty thick with hepatitis playing around. >> republican line go ahead. >> caller: in nancy's opinion why does she think everything is so biased
leading to the democrats? and what is the real data of what is actually in the demographics? enly 20% of millennial's actually vote and that is the real world data is there a big payoff at the end? >> you raise an interesting point with the idea that of evidence we don't know necessarily the volume of tweets on the platform in any particular way but they are discriminated against we just don't know and that was a little bit of the frustration yesterday with the argument to be in the search functionality the company said it affected 600,000 people so people so how many democratic members or republican members ask and they didn't have that information so it is very
difficult to know the answers to some of those questions because we don't have the same data. >> we saw protesters escorted out of the kavanaugh hearings and there were protesters today what happened? >> the protest that happened, i don't inherently know the intention it was a crazy day on capitol hill but the biggest excitement is that alex jones was the proprietor of the info wars as a right we conspiracy theorist presented himself at the facebook earrings and got some attention for that and has been removed from twitter as a
temporary ban and he wanted to confront the accuser to help her in the hallway. also when protester disappeared. particular the number it was a bit of that feedback recognizes. [protesting] order. we will have order in the hearing room or you will be asked to leave. please take the. [protesting] >> please help us mr. president before it is too late. >> what to say? i cannot understand her. what? [protesting] [laughter] >> officer what you escort this yet lady out please?
and a cell phone there i yield back. [laughter] >> he is a professional auctioneer. >> that was evident and then that reaction what you think the public at out of these hearing just today? >> there was some new information about how the platforms work what was fortunate for facebook and twitter with the nomination hearing but i think that drew
attention away from the hearings at the same time with brett kavanaugh we will pick up on some of that today. >> aquatic line. >> caller: the thing i'm worried about is a lot of the social some people could see them as ad companies in disguise. so do they make it a have to regulate the they put on? >> to be the poorer advertisers more clearly labeled where they come from. the volunteer to add disclosures to treat them in a
more serious fashion than in the past. the reason is the same path regulation enough on their home they will not be regulated and irregular mom is how they make their ability so they are reluctant to let congress put their hands into o that. >> republican line from california. >> caller: good morning.ik lately i am always the last call. talking about the election site chuck schumer had oversight. we are not talking about that at all. alex jones healer had oversight. god bless him in the first amendment. people of the united states
are a sham you heard him auctioning off during this last day as he is from all social. we that there of the publication of the said alex jones are those obviously you have ay strong opinion on the other side that is pretty troubling they are in position to make decisions that should he be allowed on the platform or other voices be allowed? jack dorsey said i think it is dangerous for twitter or him to be the arbiter of truth. so some of the challenges they wrestle with making decisions about content they will anger some folks and asked not what they want to get into too deeply but they want to take ay