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tv   Google Facebook Twitter Testify Before Senate Intelligence  CSPAN  November 3, 2017 4:29pm-7:29pm EDT

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would be from the market angle. it's these interesting characters to me an interesting situation. so what i've been tricked is izzy if you can attach the leader to the character at the beginning of the book, you can follow that character anywhere. trust me there is no limit to those who want to read my descriptions of how to collateralize those obligations but once you realize the lives of these people who you've come to know turn on knowing what that is, it's a very powerful life which is the origins of literature. >> mister lewis is the author of several books including liars poker, moneyball, the big short and his most recent, the undoing project. during our lives three hour conversation we will take your calls, tweets and
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facebook questions. watch in-depth with author michael lewis sunday live from noon to 3 pm eastern on book tv on c-span2. >> next, social media company executives from facebook, twitter and google testified before a senate hearing about russian-based accounts that tried to influence the november election and what their companies are doing to protect users from malicious and misleading content . >>.
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>> before a coherent order. good morning, i like to welcome our witnesses today. before i introduce them, i'll say on behalf of the full committee our hearts and prayers go out to the individuals in new york, the families and the trillions of those affected by this senseless terror. most on this committee have come to expect this. we spent countless hours working through the threats that exist to this country and around the world and it's
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sad that we've come to the point where really nothing can happen that surprises us, but it's the responsibility of this committee to work hand-in-hand with our intelligence committee to help keep america safe providing the tools they need. to accomplish their mission, we would continue to do that. this is the case that we are here today and i welcome the witnesses colin stretch, general counsel at facebook,, aged, general counsel at twitter and can walker, vice president and general counsel at google. for several months the media has been fixated on the role that social media platforms play in spreading disinformation and discord during the 2016 elections. this is an opportunity for each of you to tell your respective stories and if necessary, correct the record. my sense is that not all aspects of those stories have been told accurately. i will note for the record this committee is now having its 17th open hearing this year. and the 12th at which we will
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be discussing russia and russian activities. today i'm hopeful we can provide the american people with an informed and incredible assessment of how foreign actors use actors to circulate lies and agitate unrest in last year's elections. i'm also hopeful you will share with us what your companies are doing to make it more difficult for foreign actors to use your platforms, automate accounts and provide stories to influence resident in the united states. very clearly, this national security vulnerability represents an unacceptable risk and your companies have a responsibility to reduce that vulnerability. while we are on the topic of responsibility, i want to use this forum to push back on some narratives that have sprung up around the subject. a lot of folks, including many in the media have tried to reduce this entire conversation to one premise.
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one actors conducted a surgical, executed covert operation to help elect the united states president. i'm here to tell syou this story does not simplify that easy. it is shortsighted and dangerous to selectively focus on one piece of information and think that that somehow tells the whole story. we've heard from the media out a series of quote, russian link facebook ads were specifically aimed at michigan and wisconsin during the lead up to last year's presidential election. and that some of those ads targeted specific demographic groups into states. the narrative here is that ads linked to russia were targeted at critical state and directly influenced the election's outcome. what you haven't heard is that almost 5 times more ads were targeted at the state of maryland than of wisconsin. maryland which is targeted by
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262 ads in comparison to wisconsin's 55 ads. and maryland was not up for grabs. this is a state that democratic candidates carried by 26 percent. of tithe 35 for the 35 of the 55 ads targeted at wisconsin, ran higher to the wisconsin primary before they were identified a republican candidate and moreover, did not one of those 55 ads mention president donald trump by name. or that the key election state of pennsylvania had ad fewer ads targeted at its then at washington dc where 87 percent of the electorate voted for hillary clinton or that the three most heavily targeted states in america, maryland, missouri and new york all determined by at least 18 point margins in two of them one by hillary clinton. one point the media has gotten correct is that more of these geographically targeted ad ran in 2015 that 2016.
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again, before president trump was identified as a republican candidate for president but some of the context rounding the more than $100,000 worth of devices on hot 00button issues purchased by russian actors is missing. >> adds some detail here where the media's failed to do it and put the hundred thousand dollars into a frame of reference, total ad space for the state of wisconsin was 1900 and $79. all that $54 being spent before the primary. again, for the emergence of a republican candidate. ads in the state of michigan was $823. pennsylvania, $300. the belief of the narrative that you have to accept that the sophisticated well resourced russian actors studied our process, assess what states would be critical to the election results, then snuck and invested all of
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$300 to execute their plan in pennsylvania. $300. ymore than five times as much money was spent on advertising in california, a state that hasn't voted republican in a presidential election since 1988. even with the benefit of numbers and what can be calculated andmeasured , this is an incredibly complex story. we can look at the amount of money spent, the number of ads purchase and draw conclusions about priorities. we can look at the divisive content of the ad and the pages that they direct people towards and the number of weeks and retweets and the manipulated search results and drawing inferences about content of the information operation. what we cannot do however is calculate theimpact that foreign meddling in social media had on this election , nor can we assume that it must be explanation for an
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election outcome that many didn't expect. >> i understand the urge to make this reasonable. it's human nature to make complex manageable explanations and interpret things in ways that inform your conclusions. >> but that bias. explain to a statement saying that no ads ran their after the election doesn't prove intent or even motive. just shows that no ads ran their after the election. this subject is complicated. there's a whole new vocabulary that comes with this stuff. impressions are different than views . viewsare different than clicks . there's one thing i'm certain of is this. given the complexity of what we've seen, if anyone tells you they got this all figured out, they're getting themselves. we can't afford to kid ourselves about what happened last year and it continues to happen today.
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that complexity i will note is exactly why we depend on you for expert insight and reliable information. 60 percent of the us populationuses facebook . a foreign power using that platform can influence how americans think and see about one another is as much a public policy issue as it is a national security concern. crafting an elegant policy solution that is effective but not overly burdensome demands good faith and partnership between companies and this committee. just recently on the basis of a more complete and sophisticated analysis, the original estimate that 10 million americans were exposed to russian content on facebook was increased to 126 million.that tells me you're companies are just beginning to come to grips with the scale and depth of the problem. that pencouraging but know this, we do better when you
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do better. i urge you to keep that in mind and to work with us proactively to find the right solution to a very constant and complaining challenge. i'll take a moment here to stress that this hearing, what this hearing is and is not about. this isn't about relitigating the 2016 us presidential election. this isn't about who won or lost. this is about national security. this is about responsibility. and this is about the deliberative and multifaceted manipulation of the american people by agents of a hostile foreign power. i'll say it again. agents of a hostile foreign power reached into the united states using our own social l media platforms and conducted an information operation intended to divide our society along issues like race, immigration and second
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amendment rights. it's even more galling that the two tear us apart they are using social media platforms americans invented in connection with first amendment freedoms that define an open and democratic society. while it's shocking to think that foreign actors use the social networking and communications mediums that are so essential to our lives today, in an effort to interfere with the core of our democracy, but what's even more troubling is the likelihood that of these platforms are still beingused today to spread lies , provoke conflict and drive americans apart. your threecompanies , they developed platforms that had tremendous reach and therefore tremendous influence. that reach and influence is enabled by the enormous amount of data you collect on your users and their activities. the american people now need to understand how russia used that information and what you're doing to protect them.
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your actions need to catch up to your responsibilities. >> we have a lot to get you this morning, i'm going to stop here and i want to thank each of our briefers and witnesses s today and that then turned to the vice chairman for any comments? >> let me also express our concerns and thoughts about the tragedy yesterday in new york. >> let me get rent i write. in the age of social media, you can't afford to waste too much time or for that matter too many characters in getting to the point. i'll get straight to the bottom line. russian operatives are attempting to infiltrate and manipulate american social media, hijacked the national conversation and to make americans angry. us against ourselves and at
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the most basic, to undermine our democracy. they did during the presidential campaign, they are still doing it now. and not one of us is doing enough to stop it. >> that's why we're here today. >> in many ways, the threat is not new. >> russians have been conducting nfinformation warfare for decades. but what is new is the advent of social media tools with the power to magnify propaganda and fake news on a scale that was unimaginable back in the days of the berlin wall. today, the tools in many ways seem almost purpose built for russian disinformation techniques russia's playbook is simple but formal, it works like this. first, this information agents set up thousands of fake accounts, groups and pages across a wide array of platforms. >> these fake accounts populate content on facebook,
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instagram, twitter, youtube, reddit, linkedin and many other platforms. >> each of these fake accounts spend literally months developing networks of real people to follow and like their contents. boosted by tools like paid ads and automated bots. most of the real-life followers have no idea they are caught up in these webs. these networks are later utilized to push an array of disinformation including stolen emails, statement propaganda like news and sputnik. fake news and divisive content. >> the goal is simple. to get this so-called news to the newsfeeds of many potentially receptive americans and to convert covertly and subtly push those americans into directions the kremlin wants
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to go. someone deeply respected in the tech industry who was involved inthat industry for more than 20 years , has taken me quite a bit of time and i'm still learning to truly understand the nature of this threat. even i struggled with the language and the mechanics, the difference between bots, patrols and fake accounts, how they generate tweets and shares and how all of these layers and actions are combined between online ecosystems. >> what is clear however is that this playback, the slave up offers tremendous bang for the disinformation box. with just a small number of money, adversaries use hackers to steal and westernized data, controls to crack disinformation, fake accounts to build books, bots to drive traffic and adds to
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target new audiences. they can force propaganda into the mainstream and re- on our online discourse. if you look back at the ne , it's a pretty good return on investment. so where do we go from here? i believe they will take all of it. use of the platform companies, the united states government and the american people to deal with this new and involved threat. the social media and innovative tools each of you have developed and changed our world for the better. >> you transport the way we do everything from shopping for groceries to growing small businesses. but russia's ractions are further exposing the dark underbelly of the ecosystem you have created. and there is no doubt that their successful campaign will be replicated by other adversaries both nationstates and terrorists that wish to do harm to democracies around
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the globe. this is not a unique american such, each of you here today needs to commit more resources to identifying bad actors and when possible, preventing them from abusing our social media ecosystem. sanction part the pressure of this committee, each company has uncovered only some of the evidence of the ways russians exploited the platforms during the 2016 election. on facebook, much of the attention has been focused on the paid ads onthat russian trolls targeted to americans. however, these ads are just the tip of a very large iceberg. the real story is the amount of misinformation that's been divisive content that was pushed or free on russian back pages which was then
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read widely on newsfeeds of tens of millions of americans. according to the data, facebook has provided 120 russian back pages, built a network of over 3.3 million people. from these now suspended pages, 80,000 organic unpaid posts reached an estimated 126 million real people. more than a third of the population. this is an astonishing reach him just one group in the st. petersburg. and i doubt the so-called internet research agency in st. petersburg represents the only russian trolls out there. facebook has more work to do. to see how deep this goes including into the reach that we just found in the last 48 hours of information you provided of that instagram post which again, for example, 80,000 post, hundred
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80 trolls on facebook, 120,000 pieces of content on instagram and we don't even have the data on how much of that content reached. the anonymity provided by twitter, and the speed by which it shares news makes it an ideal tool to spread disinformation. according toone study during the 2016 campaign , junk news actually outperformed real news in some battleground states leading up to election day. another study found that generated one out of every five political messages posted on twitter over the entire presidential campaign. twitter seems to be vastly underestimating the number of fake accounts and plots pushing disinformation. independent research, the people who testified before this committee is estimated that up to 15 percent of active twitter accounts are
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potentially 45 million+ accounts are fake or automated. >> despite evidence of significant incursions, outreach and researchers, twitter has only uncovered a small piece of that activity. >> although i will acknowledge the last few days that the numbers have gone from 200 accounts to over 2700 accounts and again, i believe there's more to be done. google search algorithms continue to have problems resurfacing fake news or propaganda. but we can't necessarily attribute the russian efforts , false stories and unsubstantiated rumors we elevated on google search the during the recent mass shootings in las vegas. meanwhile, youtube has become our keys go global platform. google has uncovered 1100 videos associated with this russian campaign.
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much more of your content was likely spread through onother platforms. but it's not just the platforms that need to do more. the united states government, they have proven incapable of meeting this 21st century challenge. unfortunately i believe this effort is suffering in part because of lack of leadership . we have a president who acknowledge the threat that russia poses to our democracy. president trump should stop actively delegitimizing american journalism and acknowledge and address this very real threat posed by russian propaganda. i believe this too must do more. we need to recognize the current law was not built to address these threats. i partnered with senators
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chloe char and mccain on what i believe is the most like touch legislative approach which all my colleagues will review. the act is a national security bill intended to protect our elections afrom foreign interference we all want to avoid. finally but perhaps most importantly, the american people also need to be aware of what is happening to our news pages. we all need to take a more discerning approach to what we are reading and sharon, who we are connecting with online. we need to recognize the person at the other end of that facebook or twitter argument may not be a real person at all. the fact is that this russian weapon has already proved its success and cost-effectiveness. we can be assured that other adversaries including foreign intelligence operatives and potentially terrorist organizations have read this playbook and are already
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taking action. it's why we collectively must act. for our witnesses today, i hope you will be healed but we saw in the last election but most importantly tell us what steps you will undertake for us to get ready for the t next one. and we welcome your participation and encourage your commitment to addressing the shared responsibility. thank you mister chairman. >> thank you senator warner. i'd like to notify members we will have seven minute rounds today. by seniority. if i could ask you to stand and raise your right hand. >> do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth? please be seated. mister stretch, we're goingto recognize you and mister walker ,
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>> german berg, vice chairman warner and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for this opportunity to come before you today. my name is colin stretch. since july 2013 i served as general counsel of facebook. we appreciate this committee's hard work to investigate russian interference in the 2016 election. t at facebook our mission is to create technology that gives people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. we are proud that each of you uses facebook to connect with your constituents. we understand the people you represent expect authentic experiences when they come to our platform to share and connect. we also believe that we have an important role to play in the democratic process. and a responsibility to protect it on our platform. that's why we take what happened on facebook so
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seriously. before the interference we saw during the 2016 election, is reprehensible. that foreign actors hiding behind fake accounts abused our platform and other internet services to try to sew division and discord, to try to undermine ourelection process , it's directly contrary to our values and everything we stand for. our role at facebook is to bring people closer together . these foreign actors sought to drive people tfurther apart. in our investigation which continues to this day we have found that these actors used fake accounts to place ads on facebook and instagram that reached millions of americans over a two-year period and those ads were used promote pages which in turn hosted more content. people share these posts, spreading them still further. many of these ads and posts are inflammatory, some are downright offensive. we know that much of this
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content is particularly hurtful to members of the facebook community that engaged with this continent believing it was authentic. people should believe content on facebook is authentic. they should not have to worry that they are being exploited in a cynical effort to pray on faultlines in our society or to inflame discourse in this country. t in aggregate, the ads posted were a small fraction of the overall content. but any amount is too much. all of these accounts and au pages violated our policies and we removed them. going forward we are making significant investments. we are hiring more ad reviewers, doubling or more our security engineering efforts, putting into tighter content restrictions, launching new tools to improve that transparency and requiring documentation from
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political buyers. we are building artificial intelligence to locate more band content with bad actors. we are working more closely with industry to share information on how to identify and prevent threats so that we can respond faster and more effectively. and we are expanding our efforts to work closely with law enforcement. >> we know bad actors are going to redouble their efforts. we know we will all have to keep learning and improving to stay ahead. we also know we can't do this alone. that's why i want to thank you for this investigation. we look forward to the conclusions you will share with the american public and i look forward to your questions. >> mister edges, floor is yours german berg, vice chairman warner and members of this committee, twitter understand the importance of the committee's inquiry into russia's interference in the elections , and we appreciate the opportunity to appear
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here today. the events underlines have been deeply concerning to our company and the broader twitter community. we are committed to providing a service that offers and facilitate free and open democratic debate and that promote positive change in the world. we are troubled by reports that the power of twitter was misused by a foreign actor for the purpose of influencing the us presidential election and undermining public faith in the democratic process. the abuse of our platforms to attempt to sponsored manipulation of elections is a new challenge for us. and one we are determined to meet. today we eintend to show the committee how serious we are about addressing this threat by addressing the work we are doing to understand what happened and to ensure that it does not happen again. at the time of the 2016 election, we had observed and acted on instances of automated and malicious activity. as we learned more about the scope of the broader problem,
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we resolve to strengthen our systems going forward. elections continue all the time so our first priority was to do all we could to block and remove malicious activity and interfering with our users experiences. we created dedicated teams to enhance the quality of information our users see and to block malicious activity whenever and wherever . >> those teams continue to work every day to ensure twitter remains a safe , open and positive platform. >> we have also launched a retrospective review to find russian efforts to influence the election through automated coordinated activity and advertising. >>
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>> >> comparatively small about one one-hundredth of a percent of the total twitter accounts for a one-third of 1% came from the russian land automated accounts however those instances where that activity was more pronounced from russia and covered more accounts linked to the internet research agency as a result of the review. we also determined advertising by election and violated the policies set at the time or have since been
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implemented we have a base and all the users of advertisers it will donate thatat into the use of the elections we are making meaningful improvements based on our findings. last week we announced industry leading changes to the advertising policies to protect our platforms from unwantedes content also sharpening the tools to stop delicious activity increasing transparency for all of thesedi areas. oh work will continue as actors seek to abuse the system and we need to of all to stay ahead of tactics. we have heard the concerns of russia's use of twitter to disrupt the 2016 election and our commitment to addressing the issue. twitter believes any activity of that kind is unacceptable and w we agree we must do better we hope that our appearance today in the
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description of the work we have undertaken demonstrates our commitment to working with you and industry partners and other stakeholders to ensure the experience of the 2016 never happens again. we cannot have this seibald being shared threat with those technology based spreads the best approach is to combine information and ideas to t increase the collective knowledge we will continue to test and learn and share so that it remains effective and safe and afford to be answering your questions. >> the floor is yours mr. walker. >> thanks for the opportunity to speak with you today lamp senior vice president i oversee legal and with our teams i looked at one basket the intersection of technology
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security for over 25 years starting my career as an assistant u.s. attorney for the u.s. department of justice focus on technology. i will start a conversation by acknowledging the victims and families from the attack is a new york yesterday we know how strong and tough yorkers are we look forward to doing everything we can to help googlies we have a responsibility to prevent the misuse of our platforms and we take very seriously so to organize the information to make a universally accessible everything else is inevitable to that message -- mission we're deeply concerned we are committed to working with congress and law enforcement and others in the industry to string them protections around elections to help combat
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misinformation we appreciate the opportunity to share information although these propaganda campaigns are not new with media publications over the years for many years we have seene attempts with the online platform and we take these threats very seriously to build industry leading security systems and put those into consumer products as well in 2007 relaunch the first version of the safe browsing tools to help protect users from other attacks of now where now is on 3 billion devices worldwide. with that government sponsored attack and last month the launch deviance protection program to protect those at greatest risk of attack like a journalist for business leader and politicians we face motivated attackers and
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we're continually evolving to stay ahead of this changing threats they don't justea protect the physical network security, how but prevent attempts to attack our system we use fact check labels to help users bought fake news and with google search we have a'' great quality guidelines to help source authoritative content updated advertising guidelines so not putting adsre on sites that misrepresent themselves and on youtube we have a securityic breach detection system to detect the anomalous behavior and with those numbers of subscribers and continually adapt with the new attempts to use these platforms we respect to work on the 2016 election with a government-backed entities using are proud products to disseminate information to interfere
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with the election and with those deceptive activities associated with an ever backed accounts they appear to have been relatively limited purpose of course, any activity is more than you would like to see. we provided the relevant information to the committee and we will w continue to cooperate with the investigation. going forward, we will continue to expand on the cutting and use technology and working with governments to ensure the platforms are not used also making political advertising more transparent and easier for users to understand and more secure in 2018 we will release a transparency report who was buying ads on the platform and how much isct spent we will pare that with the appropriate database available for public research across our spots and make it easier for users to understand who bought the election ads in going
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forward they could easily find the name of any advertiser on search for the displayed the work or youtube and continue enhancing and only permit u.s. nationals we already tightly restrict which can buy ad space on the political leanings now we will verify via dignity that 81 was used political interest based tools to confirm they are permitted to run the ad. we cannot do this alone or with other companies to better collect to preserve the ecosystemas as a taker of steps we are open to legislation for more open transparency moreover our commitment to addressing these issues goes beyond our services we have in person briefings and introduced tools to help the election websites and political campaigns protect themselves from unauthorized account access and other digital
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attacks and increasing longstanding support for the digital democracy plan. i want to recognize the importance of users and advertisers must be able to trust to their security and safety to share the goal to identify bad actors afford to continuing for members of this committee to provide access to tools while avoiding those abuses. give for the opportunity of your ongoing efforts and we're happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thanks for your testimony the chair will recognize himself and then with the members i will talk about one in a specific ad that will not count towards my seven minutes and of vice-chairman will do the same to set thell stage of but we will talk about today
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progress in example i'd like toto highlight one in specific case with real world implications as to different groups both of which associated with russian internet research agency the first board that is that it is called the heart of texas with to under 50,000 followers it promoted protects its causes many would characterize as anti-immigration are anti-muslim the tagline is reference to the top corner of the first chart is texas homeland of guns and barbeque with the words time to secede emboldened under the texas flag. with the second to group called the united muslims of america with 320,000 followers. this account claims to be proo islamic the tagline is reference to the bottom
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right i am a muslim and i'm proud. so add the second board. the texas group created a public event on facebook to occur at noon may 21st 2016 at the islamic center at houston texas to stop the is solmization of texas. the same group then placed an advertisement on facebook to promote their even and with 12,000 used turning to the secondur group called united muslims of america with over $320,000 this claimed to push the. islamic teams -- themes. they subsequently created any event on facebook to a current ote berndt -- at noon at the islamic center in houston texas on the same
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day to save islamic knowledge at the same time and the same t place then they placed an advertisement targeting people in houston to promote their event to promote at the islamic center ever the 2700 people came. on may 21st local news captured the events as they have folded reporting on the protests staged with the resulting counter protest the pitchers that uc our on the streets in front of the islamic center in houston texas but neither side could have known that russia trolls were encouraging both sides to battle of the streets to create division ironically one person who attended said the heart of texas promoted this event but we did not see one of them. now we knowaz why. is hard to attend the event in houston when neutral from
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st. petersburg russia. establishing these two competinghi groups paying for ads causing this destructive event cost russia about $200. so now mr. stretchy made a comment yesterday your goal was to bring people together so in this case they were brought together for conflict and facebook enabled the event to happen i would say they have failed there goldberg from a computer in st. petersburg russia they can create in promoting eventss anywhere in the united states to tear apart our society burgrave certain our adversaries are learning from russia nativities and watching us today simply put, you must do better to protect american people and frankly all of your users from this type of manipulation. my time can start now. one simple question for each
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of you. the federal election campaign act prohibits any foreign national from spending in connection with federal state or local elections in the united states doesn't this law prohibit your publication of this content? mr. stretch?. >> the publication of the content?. >> the f.t.c. law is applied to facebook?. >> certainly yes it prohibits foreign actors really from any media including facebook to influence the u.s. elections. >> fec applies to facebook?. >> yes. >> two twitter as well. >> yes, sir.. >> the prevalence of social media for military members to spend so much time
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outside of the country away from friends and family seems likely target of those foreign intelligence agencies to collect information on deployments or insight you monitor your platforms forhe indications that your users of military are targeted in any way?. >> senator, yes and i would say that that sort of securityt work falls under the traditional cybersecurity work we have long been phocis on you that the intelligence team for years focused on tracking foreign actors with exactly that threat that we believe historically has been an area of focus for our adversaries and on the defensive side. >> we have been focused on that type of threat for years your also focused on education on the other side to help law enforcement and military personnel understand how to use
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twitter its benefits and risks. >> we have been looking at cyberas united's over some a years but we're not a social network we don't have as much of that ability over individual use but it is of concern. these questions are for facebook, mr. stretch. in a blob published from the chief security officer wrote about 3,000 political ads were paid for through 470 fake accounts that likely operated out of russia facebook shot these down on the grounds they were not authentic. had been violated with they have been shut down?. >> senator many would have because many violated other policies related to the type of content that is permitted
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on the platform. the authenticity issue is the key referring to a user fest earlier but it pains us as a company me personally to see that our platform was abused in this way because people in this country care deeply about issues of public concern is one of the strength of our country that they're willing to speak freely in the fact that foreign actors could use the platform so that openness is deeply painful. >> does it trouble you took this committee to look at take nature of the users and content?. >> senator we are certainly troubles, i would say more than trebled, by a the evidencee of abuse of our
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platform during 2016 and we are grateful for the committee's investigation and the attention you bring to this issue. we believe it is important and it is a larger issue more than any one company and we believe going for their opportunities not just for us to do better but work together to make sure we all address the threat appropriatelyy. >> what characteristics would indicate a page is likely operated out ofed russia. >> there are a number of characteristics that can signal potential location. the most obvious that is typically the most reliable is location information transmitted by the user's browser when they access facebook. it is also the most easily manipulated there are other
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signals that similarly will suggest location but because of the way the internet is architect did they could be faked. our job is to look not just for those signals in plain sight but to understand how all they could be manipulated looking for patterns of activity to reveal those efforts to abuse our platform that are shrouded geographically and in other way. >> the vice president of twitter said they're building new tools and processes to combat those automated twitter accounts or bots what is the process to identify the bots?. > we have data behind what you see on twitter that looks at the activity of the account there are hundreds of millions as relates to other accounts. so ifo we treat our activity
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looks normal if there's thousands of times an hour or thousands of times a day that looks suspicious. such technology is looking for that anomaly that differentiates the normal accounts from automated accounts but stammers and bad actors are getting better at making themselves look more real. >> so what percentage of accounts on twitter are bots and not real people?. >> we do a monthly audit and investigation to determine that over years less than 5% of the accounts are false or spam. >> what happens to those accounts that are suspended? is there the indefinite status?. >> typically they are permanently banned from the platform and we do work to
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link those accounts with new ones that may pop up so the moral be investigate from these signals the better we get to link those accounts stopping them before they get on to the platform. >> alaska you to submit in writing for the record twitters assessment of the number of bots on twitter consistently is higher than the 5% what youou stated today. >> vice-chairman? america also want to demonstrate we have had testimony before this committee from the representative of nato that it is more than - - class closer to 1215% or 320 million active with you talk to and% that is still
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30 million accounts that could be misused or abused. if we put up the chart here is another example of how people of our -- are lowered in the first ad the looks pretty benign targeted toward christians with an army of jesus facebook added 217,000 followers if you like that page here is what happens you get a series of bible'' or other items that appeared october 16 late october early november now suddenly now you get these other posts, not paid from
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this organization is live on to the tune hundred 17,000 followers we don't call how many times it was like to or shared with other individuals. we have two different examplesse and once they are lured into the pro texas or pro muslim or pro jesus account fin day are manipulated by foreign actors and foreign agents. start my time. first of all, i hear your words bet i have more than a little bit of t frustration that many of us on this committee have been raising this issue since the beginning of this year and our claims were blown off by the leadership of your company had dismissed saying there is no possibility that
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this could happen and no possibility. that bothers me if you were really committed to work with us to resolve this it took until this committee continually went after you july and early august when you made the first presentation. and actually these were less than sufficient and in my mind shows a lack of resources and commitment and o effort your company's know more about americans and united states government and the idea you had no idea this was happening strains your credibility and what yes or no answer not a filibuster. will you commit to continue to work with this committee to provide additional information and documents as as we continue to explore this challenge and threat?.
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>> yes. >> absolutely. >> absolutely. >> next. one of the things i will commend you are friends at facebook to identify a 470 accounts and 3,000 ads and most of that work has ben derivative of the initial posting so deeply bigger companies have identified the full scope of those russian was active measures on your platform? yes or no. >> senator our investigation continues five 1/2 to say now with certainty. >> we're still working on it. >> these are ongoing issues and we're continuing to investigate.
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>> you have identified 470 accounts from st. petersburg. there have been plenty of press reports of other activities that russia controls in central europe and eastern europe and in meetings with your leadership your aggressively promoted the fact for example,ve that you took down 30,000 accounts with those french elections. with those rare show related accounts of those were active in the american election?. >> the 30,000 accounts that we took down. >> those that were related to russian accounts that you took down your leadership brag about how proactive you
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were in the process did you check to seecc if any of those were active?. >> the system to take down those accounts that were all tight bid for any purpose is active worldwide. >> at view review those accounts our russian related to see if they had any role role?. l >> i'm trying to answer the question. >> yes or no. i don't want a long explanation of the hat you done this? i have been signaling this team for some time we wanted to make sure you review thosevi accounts use said these were all accounts except for one did you even run those with dollars or euros?.
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>> we had a. >> yes or no. >> we have looked at every possible indication of russian activity. >> that precludes any evidence. >> if they had run with that database to see if they're active in the united states. >> i have to come back to you on that senator. >> we have had this hearing scheduled for months, i find your answer very disappointing on the question that we just discovered some 80,000 views we now discover in the last 48 hours 120,000 russian base post have you done any similar analysis we go the
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80,000 reached 1269 americans have you done that with those posts on instagram?. >> yes senator we have. >> the data on instagram is not as n complete but what we do have indicates beginning in october 2015 those instagram post reached an additional 16 million people theddition to 126 million people that we identified. >> so now we see this at 150 million?. >> that time period a prior for the day then it is less reliable would havee the incremental 4 million so that gets you to approximately a little less than 150 million. >> this did not happen during 2016 but there was a
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fake tennessee republican account the irony is that had 154,000 followers the real tennessee g.o.p. party had 13,400 followers based on your numbers and i find very interesting some people have said they should spot these fake accounts. kelly and conway and the president's son read tweeting the account so why did it take so long to take this down? when they were asking you repeatedly?. >> that was a mess we have gotten better. >> we have looked on this subject but the same way the strolls and bots and fake
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pages can be used in politics the same tools can and have been used to assist stock schemes and a lot of this activity we have seen thus with prescription drugs as well as encouraging those to download malware and i believe this is a real challenge requiring ongoing cooperation. >> by now it is pretty obvious to everyone that this committee has spent a lot of time on this is it relates to the election but not related to the political process we have spent a lot of time and i believe reach
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some conclusions nobody is exempt they tried to do exactly what was done in texas where they tried to promote a meeting with to conflicting sides and no one showed up so there was no success it had absolutely nothing to do with the 2016 presidential election but simply a cultural type of acrimony they were trying to promote. the chairman talked about the reports that alleged the russians that used social media to promote a particular candidate would suggest to change the results of the election but this goes a lot deeper than that so one of the things we
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have discovered and you're probably aware for and again dance both lee will get back to that in just a second that theon u.s. is not the only one that has suffered the europeans and germany i put a section in the sanctions bill that requires to do a study on the sparrow it is more than what they did here and probably
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because in the european countries there is a fair amount of russian sympathy but not so much here in the united states so i want to, at this from a different perspective. the 2016 elections got a lot of politicians riled up because of the political process but my conclusion is that senator warner referred to this is ais lot deeper than just the elections there are a lot of things that the russians are trying to do do is not just to inject themselves into the electoral process. it seems to me if you step back to say what is going on what is the of, motivation? i would from the objective standpoint twitter they trying to accomplish? you walk away shaking your head
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because we don't think the same way they think about promoting our country so the conclusion is long before your technology even existed to sow discord simply. so have you tried to analyze what those russians were trying to accomplish here? natalie the 2016 elections or with your personal views on that what they're trying to accomplish? mr. stretch? >> it is very difficult for us senator to ascribe a motive why the work is so important to provide you as much information as we can and we hope with your
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visibility you can help the american people have a better assessment of what the motive this we think that will help all of us to better to prevent this activity in the future. >> but you do agree that the motive is obvious given the differences. >> yes i would agree with that. >> i agree as well they somalia seen the russiasements from today the type of content put out by a the i ran those automated accounts looks like it is focused on divisiveness but we're still investigating and will afford to the committee to put this together. >> it was socially divisive yes. >> and really that has been the focus of the media the
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you agree it is much broader than that and divisive aimed at divisiveness or discord? day you agree?. >> yes that is what we try to tackle every day. >> i would agree a note the time period in question and that activity continued after the election. >> it seems reasonably hard for us. >> i appreciate that the my view is it is a lot broader thans simply the 2016 election for i do have a specific question i think i heard you say you're enacting a policy of the u.s. nationals can buy a ads? what about other countries? can the u.s. national by an ad for instance for french or a german or austrian
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campaign?. >> i have notig studied individual campaigns that we are looking around the world to do whatever we can to minimize that effort. >> si will try to confine people to their own elections in their own countries?. >> i fake that will be a big challenge but i wish you well and that endeavor. >> i sat in on the judiciary hearing yesterday with a subcommittee hearing to ask some questions i just want to make a personal comment because we are very proud to represent this community from california. say i don't think
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that you can edit the defend your company with what we're talking about is a cataclysmic change which is the beginning of cyberwarfare and a major foreign power with the sophistication and ability to involve themselves in a presidential election to so conflict and discontent all over this country. we will not go away gentleman. this is a very big deal i went home last night with the sound disappointment i asked specific questions with a vague answers and that will not do. you have huge problems on your hands and united states will b the first to bring
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it to your attention and others will follow on share -- i'm sure because he created these platforms and now they are misused it you have to be the one to do something about it. or we will. this committee is intelligence different from yesterday so these are potent fax but let me go back to a couple of questions that i asked yesterday yesterday you testified that twitter only began to remove voters oppressiooppressio n post that told people they could vote to buy texting or tweeting after you found out from other twitter users. these were illegal tweeds waiting for users to alert
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twitter is not sufficient so what you doing to proactively identify illegal voter suppression?. >> thanks for letting me address that we are constantly improving notre only on the technology trying to amplify these messages. >> it is not enough. >> the with the content and the behavior to make our workflow more efficient with artificial intelligence with the ill the goal voter suppression adds and taking those down faster. >> you have to find a way to prevent that from going up. >> that is why we are focusing on the behavior we have seen great strides since the other areas sorry try to take that same
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solution. >> i asked your colleague yesterday why google did not provoke the preferred status and publicly stated that it was part of the russian government's efforts to interfere in our elections. i was told only lost the preferred status because of a drop in viewership not because it was part of the propaganda machine. this response was deeply troubling and frankly did not answer requisition so here it is again why didn't google take any action after the intelligence community assessment came out in january 2017?. >> i will start by
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responding to your initial promise we are taking this very seriously of cybera. [inaudible] issue is what we have been working on publicly andkiub privately with other companies and to identify some of these threats this is not the only one of that but to recognize the concerns of the slanted coverage g it does go beyond the internet the channel is on major television stations advertising in newspapers and magazines and airports and is in every city in the united states we have carefully reviewed the content to see that it complies with the policies that we have against hate speech and incitement of violence so far we have not found violations but we continue to look beyond that so of americans should have f
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access they should know what they are getting so to provide information of that government funded nature looking at ways to expand that and to other platforms. >> i am really not satisfied with that it has been the trend of the testimony of long but i think we're in a different day at the beginning of whatf could be cyberwar and has a policy matter you have to take a look atol that and what role that you play my time is almost up a british report concluded that social media platforms such as facebook and twitter and youtube failed to remove extremas material hosted by those neo-nazi groups even when that was reported last night
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we saw a horrific attack on innocent people in new york by individual who may have been radicalized online and we know one person that had 75,000 hits than the major radicalize our on the internet i am working on legislation to require companies to read quired to report activity to law enforcement and provide them with civil injunction authority. >> eight you for being here but first a whistleblower and a critic of t the chinese government and its facebook account was blocked in
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facebook has informed us he violated the terms of service by publishing personally identifiable information aboutma individuals that violated the terms of service and i understand that argument but i want to be clear was there any pressure from the chinese government to block his account?. >> no senator we reviewed a report on an account and analyze that to regular channels to regular a procedures it was not in its entirety but a specific post >> so you did not come under pressurehi under the chinese government or representatives to block hisrk account. >> i am being precise we did receive a c report from representatives of the chinese government of the
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account we will analyze that as we would any other into action solely based on our policies. >> facebook is not allowed to operate in china?. >> correct our consumer services are blocked in china. correct. >> there have been press reports it may suppress post from appearing in news feed in geographic areas and the speculationn is by the purpose is to get into the chinese market is that accurate? has facebook developed software for specific geographic areas?. >> we are blocked in china's any buffer we have it is not operative in although we do have many instances we have content reported to was from foreign government that is illegal under the laws of those government like holocaust denial is a good
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example in germany so with respect to reports like that if content is visible in the country violating local law we can do blocking so the content will not be visible in the country. >> so criticizing a government you have the capability to block them from criticizing the of the government?. >> we have the capability to ensure the service complies of local law that is accurate retake of very diwans report -- approach we believe it is to share and connect and political expression is that the core of what we provide. >> in the vast majority of
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cases where we are on notice of locally illegal content and has nothing to do with politicales expression it is like blasphemy in parts of the world that prohibit blasphemy. >> we could do all whole hearing on that topic but the reason why it is related is a foreign influence campaign a violation in terms of service? if you can prove somebody's to read on behalf of the foreign government does thato violate your terms of service? any of you?. >> generally would violated number we don't have state-sponsored elections but generally to be that
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inflammatory content would take most of those we don't do that out right. >> so between 45 and $100 if you can prove that somebody is using bots is that a violation?. >> the automated accounts are what we are using every day and challenging 4 million accounts every week to make sure it is real people we have terms of service.f >> is that the violation to together a bunch of fake ads?. >> that violates our terms and policies and a number of ways we do not permit automated means to access the site so that would be a violation.
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>> is somebody. social security number and date of birth that is a violation?. >> yes for facebook. >> what iff somebody goes on-line that threatens the of lives of individuals to disrupt a plot to endanger the lives of people? is that a violation of terms of service?. >> happen sometimes. >> we work with law enforcement with free speech rights with that imminent threat we take very seriously and act on right away. >> that person is identifiable information it is a legal i am curious if it is a violation of the
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terms off service on individuals that could be compromised. do we have any evidence they use that in conjunction with custom audiences by name to have any information registered voter data was uploaded and customized to individual voters?. >> we have not seen evidence of that. >> the same is true for facebook. >> the scope of this is not limited to 2016 or the presidential race we have identified being patriotic lgbt united heart of texas for all used to attack my campaign during the primary but what is interesting on the third of july and eighth august when i chose to run for reelection won did
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not begin today were not limited at 2016 for presidential races but they continue to this day and are much more widespread. correct?. >> i would agree with that statement senator. >> so with the current fascist leadership of russia enthusiastically undermining our democracy, america must defend m the values that made us great to aggressively confront this espionage and the enemies that sponsor it. the tools range from political ads with the sock puppet to fictional newsne stories and rallies and protests and marches presented under false
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pretenses called the supreme court has ruled congressman place some limits on strictly political advertising the other activities in just mentioned are beyond the reach of government and government regulation and a free society to fight back against this espionage americans have to rely on the marketplace of ideas and the institutions that support it. gentleman, today you three represent those institutions you discussed the response to this attack but it is self-evident with your platform that you have from the past election you failed. this is especially troubling because this same federal law that allows your company
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to grow and thrive section 230 gives you absolute protection to take action against those who abuse your platform to damage our democracy with the same algorithm can be used to identify behavior indicative of these attacks including fake accounts or fake news to identify the up money purchasing your ad so i am of the view a small part of a much bigger problem posting fake stories are leaks to be used by foreign and domestic enemies to undermine our society. you need to stop paying lip service to shut down bad actors using these accounts congress has given you the legal protection to act and
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deal with this or want to start with some? yes or no questions mr. walker are you satisfied with your platform's response info the 2016 election? yes or no?. >> we're constantly doing better for the we could have done more but we're doing more today and have been. >> no. we need to do more. >> the same is true. >> do you have the technical ability andca resources for the information campaign?. >> yes safe harbor and good samaritan laws are important we're doing more. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes but we do need
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information sharing with industry as well as working with the government. >> specifically vow to describe the changes you will pursue not just the ads that the sock puppets we would like to walk out of here knowing the changes you will support boeing for work. mr. walker?. >> absolutely. >> that transparency report that archive of content that is available making it available to enhance verification techniques. improving all the rhythms and the signals we use we is the fact check labels to evaluate and looking to
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improve those that misrepresent their nature. >> coming out of the 2016 election and earlier this year the studios ask the entire engineering design team that makes up agn large majority of the company to tackle the problem of safety reviews on our platform. to drop everything else they were doing and figure this out. >> in three sentences. water the changes?. >> we have a quality team looking at behavior and content to see how we can stop bad actors to amplify the message, we have just announced new transparency rules over all advertisements to educate worldwide users and also collaborating with law enforcement.
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>> i hear very few specifics from that answer. >> senator i will try a fourth things but first there are 10,000 people working on safety and security with the community operations teams by end of 2018 2 dobie 20,000 and we announced last week the series of bad transparency stepsin drawing on the ideas thatat was talked about earlier to bring much greater visit - - visibility to political advertising and tightening the ad policies to limit divisiveness and violence with the use of the tools and standing up to enable better industry sharing to help work better with law-enforcement to share
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information to address the of the rut -- threat. >> it is unclear you understand the degree of this manipulative operation they posted videos trying to appeal to a specific audience some of that was not fake but intended to gather an audience telling people that they were already receptive to after gaining the trust to execute the espionage by gathering liberals and discouraging them are like u2 confirm this technique which used in the election?. >> we have provided all the information we can about the content that we have identified to make this assessment you are describing but this requires this committee's work to
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look at the online and offline activity necessary. . . . . it goes far beyond paid political ads that appear last year. the primaryry purpose of action measures is to exploit and to aggravate the division in american society and to undermine public confidence in our democratic institutions. those efforts have not stopped. they continue to this very day.
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as senator has put out no area of the country is immune. let me give you an example and we pass it out to you. by describing three unpaid post from facebook pages created by the russians that for to the governor of maine, paul lepage there were two negative posts related toiv the governor on one russian facebook page called williamson calvin that appeared in august of 2016. there is a video of comments made by the governor from that same and the post in part says the following. lepage called up white people to kill blacks. after this statement we can clearly see what kind of people serve in american government,
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white race supremacist and that is for sure. the only way to avoid mass killings of black people is to firef lepage and all who have te same racist beliefs from american government. there was a second post on the same website about ten days later. let me read part of that. it is not a secret that america is the country of white supremacy and people like lepage must be replaced from their positions in the government. america doesn't need racist politicians. black people are tired of white supremacy. then this year in august of 2017 maine's governor was subjected of a positive post on a different russian facebook page called being patriotic.
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in this case the post defended comments that c the government made at the time about confederate monuments. the post ends up with its own incendiary conclusion. it says when even the governor is not safe from leftist haters then what can we say about ordinary citizens. liberals are now acting like terrorists. they tried to intimidate everyone who disagrees with them, hope our police will take appropriate measures against these cowards. now, letpo me point out somethi. our governor is not up for reelection last year. he is term limited and cannot run for reelection as governor and yet these comments were made both last year and just a few months ago.
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the post are just three among 80000 that reveal the russian playbook of playing both sides against each other and sowing discord and division with inflammatory rhetoric and there were other posts that involved lower level officials in the state of maine that we found as well. the russians continuee to push this kind of devices rhetoric to this very day. my question to you is what are you as american companies doing to effectively counter underpaid contents posted by the russians -- that is clearly designed to specifically polarize and anger the american
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people? i would argue that you have a special obligation here given your reach in american society and the fact that you are patriotic american companies. >> senator, we agree that we have a special responsibility here. we value the trust that users place in our services and when they show up to connect with friends and family and to discuss issues they need to know the discourse they see is authentic. what is so painful about this type of content is it exploits a truly and passionately held views and inflames them to create more discord and more distrust. to prevent this we are investing
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much more heavily in authenticity. we believe that one ofty the cornerstones of facebook is that users are known by their real names and so that creates a level of authenticity in the discourse that users can trust when they come to the platform. this sort of content erodes that trust and it's contrary to everything we stand for as a company. as americans it is particularly painful because it is so exploitative of the openness of our society and the investment we are making in the commitment we are making is to ensure that the authenticity policy is more effectively policed and monitored to prevent exactly this sort of behavior. >> what is twitter doing? >> focusing on a number of things. the one we see the greatest strides and the greatest effective protections for our
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users is on at the implication site in the use of automated accounts. these bad actors need an audience for their voice and generally they do not have a followership so they are trying to use activity on the platforms to automate and amplify their voices so we're looking behind the message and behind the content and the behavior of doing that and we have been successful in doubling our effectiveness of doing that year-over-year and looking at the behavior ande taking down millions of pounds every single week because they are not humans. >> this just happened in august of this year. this is not something old and we continue to try to stay ahead of their activity. were also looking at things like coordinated human activity where real people are coming to gather and putting out divisive content like this and were able to link
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those accounts and take action on them as we learn not just what they're saying but what is behind and we can see it on the twitter side. we've had great strides on the terrorism front and we can apply the same methodologies. >> mr. walker, thank you. >> were concerned about this deceptive and divisive content. we remove it immediately from our services and we have removed these going forward and already we have engaged in a number of things to avoid the problem of fake news, changes to our algorithms and improving training that our readers get in evaluating quality, labeling fake news for we can find it in working with parties et cetera. >> thank you, chairman. mr. stretch, i want to start with you. last month president trump called the russian purchase facebook ads a hoax and i have looked at those prussian sponsored facebook ads and i certainly hope you had a chance to review them. are they in fact a hoax? >> all the information we provided to the committee did
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run on facebook so, it's a -- i know it is a yes, sir no answer. i know it's hard since you are lawyer. >> no, the existence of those ads were on facebook and was not a hoax. >> in the interest of clearing this up and giving the american people some transparency into this so they can see the nature of what typically gets used to divide the american populace, why not simply release those russian finance facebook ads to the public, redact the pictures but lisa content so that people can understand how this works? >> senator, we believe this committee is best placed to determine what information to release. we stand ready to assist in that effort and we agree that the more people can see the type of content that iran and the divisions that were sought to be
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exploited the better. >> well, i think we have a disagreement on this committee as to whether or not to release those. i would urge all of you as platforms to consider that kind of activity, as well. i want to move on to russia's rbc magazine which recently revealed that st. petersburg trollea factory employed hundres of trolls including 90 at the quote unquote us desk alone and spent about $2.3 million in 2016 to metal in us politics. they actually contacted us activist directly offered them thousands of dollars to organize protests. your platform and your problems are global, not just us platforms and they are substantial open-source reporting right now suggestinges that similar divisive activity may be occurring in the catalonian region of spain right
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now. what are each of you doing right now to make sure that your platforms aren't being used in similarly divisive ways across the globe to sow discord in western democracy? and in particular with the catalonian example, are you familiar with what you're doing? >> senator, we are focused on preventing this form of abuse globally and we say we have an obligation to protect the platform from being used for abuse that is a global oblate station and were focused on election as they appear on the calendar, including the catalonian elections that occurred recently as well as the elections that are on the calendar going forward. we are focused on ensuring that
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all actors on the problem comply with local law,er as mr. walker suggested earlier, and we are focused on making sure that any foreign threat actors that are seeking to to undermine democracy anywhere are removed from the platform. >> have each of you had to take corrective action against actors in that debate were not with a purported to be? >> senator, the key progress we've made -- >> that is a yes, sir no question, once again. >> i believe so but i'll need to follow up. >> we are constantly moving fraudulent accounts from our services and i'm not familiar with the specifics there. >> you can get back to us. mr. ed, given the discussion we had about automated twitter accounts and the range is obviously very wide but we know that is the problem and you made
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an assertion earlier that i want to come back to and make sure it is accurate. do you require at twitter by service agreement that profiles are linked to real names, real people or some other way to make sure those go back to real human beings from social security numbers to other unique identifiers? >> we do not. we require some information to sign up for we do not require you to verify your identity. we have services that verify identities on the platform. >> why on earth not? >> because we see the power of twitter used by folks like our political dissidents embedded journalist and difficult countries to usehe the ability o not identify themselves by name like on other platforms to speak their truth to power. we see that -- >> so for the reason is for social dissidents and people in third world countries or where
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there is a hostile government regime, it is not your business model. you're not reliant, for example, on those automated counts to generate revenue. >> we do not rely -- we do not rely on the bad malicious automation we're talking here. >> if i were running a political campaign today and i were to advertise on local television, cable television, in print or on the radio or even through the mail i would have to have a paid for by disclaimer on those ads. mr. walker, i believe addresses issue but is there any policy reason that online social media ad given how effective and influential they clearlyff have become shouldn't meet that same level of transparency? >> we agree with the transparency efforts.
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we announced last week that we are creating a transparency that are notn purchase political ads bute a transparency for center all ads so that you can see not just the w ad that you have seen and why it is been targeted but all of the other ads created on the election front, you will see who is paying for the ad, how much they spent on this ad campaign and you will see what the target for the [inaudible]'s >> i appreciate that mr. stretch. >> the same is true for facebook. we are working both on political add i transparency enabling more visibility into campaign ads by third parties and also campaigns to meet their disclosure obligations in their online medications. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. stretch, in response to the question there was a lot of information that you could get
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based onn that policy that you pursue it like all the other ads you iran and would you get that by going to another spot and surely that is not all right there on the ad. >> we are character constrained platform. we will be identifying very clearly whether or not something is a political ad so you can see it right away. depending on if you are a web browser or mobile phone you will have to hover over or click on the spot to then see a full transparency center that gives you all that information. >> would you be able on the ad itself to be able to put up enough disclosure there so that is clear when you're looking at the ad who paid for it and how to find more information about who paid for it. >> we are still working through the technical details and will be to get that in front aspect. >> mr. walker, are you doing anything similar to that? >> our idea is to have an icon that you can immediately see it when it's clicked on.
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>> but would any information be on the attics of the icon? >> it depends on the ad or video contacts for what makes more sense and a very small amount of space if you see the struggles with figuring out appropriate disclosure. >> and you're looking at the other disclosure requirements and other ads have to have on other media as you're considering this? >> broadcast on his slippers, yes. >> same is true for s facebook. >> when you are talking, i'll start with mr. edgett on this when you are talking are you referring to the russian government or citizen or people who paid in rubles -- you mentioned the ira which would be not yourr individual retirement account butoo irish republican army and how do you know they are russians and what are you looking for their when you're talking about russians in retrospect.
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>> great question. we are looking for signals. not everyone identifies themselves as a russian. especially these malicious actors. we are looking atnd things like whether they registered in country in russia, do they have a russian phone number, are they on a russian mobile carrier, to the have a russian e-mail address, are they coming inen fm a russian ip and have the ever logged in and you'll see in retrospective work have a logged in at any time for russia. there are some technical challenges with that in the trail sometimes goes cold at data centers where information has been processed and we saw about -- >> looking back at the so-called russians and that did during the election when you are saying the russians paid for these ads these are ads paid for by the russians because you now have gone back and checked groups like the research agency, the internet research agency and you now know that is a russian grou- >> on the advertising side, we have additional data around
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making information because folks are paying for these ads. we didn't link the ira account to advertising in the election but what we did was found nine advertisers based on the signals i talked about and making information largely was russia today we have since removed as advertisers. >> let's see if we get their money's work. everyone has been involved inay one way or another in my advertising. i've had some sense that in advertising you pretty much got what you paid for. mr. stretch, how much money did the russians spend on ads that we now look back on as disruptive or politically intended? >> $100,000. >> approximately. >> how much of that today pay before the election? >> i have seen the number 44000 -- the ad impressions iran
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46% for the election and the remainder after the election. >> if i had a consultant that was trying to impact election and spent only 46% of the money before election day i'd be pretty upset about that. they spent $46000, how much did the clinton and trump campaigns spent on facebook? >> approximately combined $81 million. >> 81 million -- before the election? >> yes. >> 81 million. i'm not a great mathematician but 46,081,000,000 that would be like 51001%. it's something like that. >> yes, it's a small number by
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comparison. >> sold the fact that we are talking about it today they certainly seems like they got their money's worth after the election, whether they w got it before or not we are still talking about 51 thousands of 1% of the facebook money spent and that was just by clinton and trump or was that all the presidential candidates put together? >> those were the clinton and trump campaigns. >> well, they probably got more attention hereba than they did. i know ferguson missouri and baltimore were a couple of big targets in of these ad campaigns and is there a way to do this where you principally target viewers in the st. louis area for ferguson or in maryland for baltimore.
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>> it's important to distinguish between our added tools in the organic tools. our added tools do permit geographic targeting of content, approximately 25% of the ad that we identified and turned over to the committee were geographically targeted to a region, smaller than the united states. most of themta were targeted ona state basis. organic content, unpaid posts if you will are not geographically targeted. >> and some of those targeted dollars were spent in states where the election turned out to not speak at all, is the right? >> that's correct. >> the other question we will get to and may be in writing later but the free media think we have to be supple here about who decides what voter suppression and what is not in who decides what level of speech is acceptable and what is not. it's an unbelievable obligation that the government has never been very good at and an
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unbelievable obligation that sounds like to me your companies are being asked to assume and that would be an ongoing discussion, i think whether that is possible or not and the questions and problems that arise when some one does begin to decide what is acceptable to talk about and what is not and what discourages voters and what does not. i would think the general election process these days would discourage boaters from participating so maybe that will mean none of it can be discussed but we will see how that goes. thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentlemen, you've done a good job this morning and i must say that i am disappointed you are here and not your ceos because we're talking about policy and the policies of the company's and it is fine to send it general counsel but i think if you could take a message back from this committee and if we go through this exercise again we would appreciate seeing the top people who are actually making
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the decision. i want to begin by two quotes and i generally don't read quotes but these are so apt the first one says this: nothing was more to be desired then that every practicable obstacle should be composed opposed to cabal and treason. the most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches for more than one quarter but chiefly from the desire of foreign powers to gain an improper sentence in our councils. that is alexander hamilton in the 60 federalists. he saw this coming. the other is a more recent post from a fellow named pat amir [inaudible] was a former tru officer and he said a new type of war has emerged in which armed warfare has given up its decisive place in the achievement of the military and political objectives of war to
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another warfare, information warfare. that is exactly what we're talking about here today. i think and i appreciate the chair and the vice chair giving us the context of what we are doing there. they are visual demonstrations i think were very vivid and the warfare is the division of our society and it's not only us but the entire west. we know that the russians were involved in french election and we know they were involved in the german elections and we are now learning they were involved in the separation of spain and my understanding is they set up shop in scotland, which is talking about itde independence vote from great britain. this is a sophisticated worldwide strategy that applied here in 2016 there is one other piece i would like to add to
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what the chair and the vice chair did and that is that it still is happening. this is a service of the german marshall fund called, interestingly, hamilton 68 that follows hashtags on a daily basis. i just picked a day in september to show these are the hashtags that are being propagated, they were not created by russians but 600 russian websites that are in these are the hashtags they did on these particular days. the interesting thing is siri is up there and we have the nfl and then we have boycott the nfl and then we have stand for our anthem and make america great again, russia, take any and in other words they were tweeting on both sides of the nfl dispute in order to exacerbate the divisions. one witness this committee had said that s there were strategys
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to take a crack in our society and turn it into a chasm. that is exactly what we have seen. we saw this in 2016 and my point here is it hasn't stopped and it will not stop. we have to figure out what to do about it and it seems to me that there are three possibilities, which you can make a significant contribution to. the other is brinkley up to us. it's a o technical defense, the kind of thing even talking about today. checking identities, identifying the source of this kind of information and i want to pursue that in a minute. the second is we as a society have to understand when we are being conned. i spent some time a year ago in eastern europe before our election in the eastern european politicians all he wanted to talk about was russia meddling in their elections and i said how do you defend yourself?
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you can't undo the network orr turn off the tv and all of our people now get it that this is the russians are doing. when they see one of these postings they say oh, it is just the russians again. we have to develop that level of sophistication so that we know when we are being misled into me the mentality is the same one we all apply at the checkout counter of the supermarket and we see a tabloid that says a movie star has a two headed baby, we say oh, that is just the tablets. we need to apply that same type of sensibility to these kinds of fake news, misleading and purposeful distortions. the third thing we have to determine, i think, is this country has to have some type of cyber warfare deterrent capacity. right now there is no price to be paid for meddling in our democracy and our adversaries
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have to understand that if they are going to undertake a campaign like this there will be a price to be paid and there will be results and if they do ask, we will do white to them. now that doesn't exist but all ofan the russians have basically been a free pass and that's a difficult problem. let me ask a technical question. can you, for example, put a date requirement date line on a posting that said where it comes from just l like a news story ss moscow, september 203rd and is there some way to identify the source of information as it comes across your newsfeeds? >> senator, it's a great question and we do permit users to identify the geographic location of the post and we do not require it. there are oftentimes privacy considerations that would
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prevent a user -- >> but you could require it by country, wouldn't you think? >> there are many uses of our services, senator, where requiring people to designate their physical location could be problematic and i would make to other points. because the internet is architected your geographic location can be disguised. that is something we need to work on in order to make sure we are not being pulled. your larger point is an excellent one. the geography of the location of the user paired with the content they are serving -- part of the information. >> yes, and we need to do a better job tuning our systems to be more sensitive. >> mr. walker, you said that the people should know what they're getting at when we get information we know it's in the newspaper and we see the name of the author and we see the dateline and we are in a new information distributionda world
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here and we need to think about how to apply some of the principles that have helped us to assess that information and i hope you will all continue to develop policy just as the newspaper business did 100 years ago that helped your customers to analyze and assess the validity of the data. the problem now is we are just taking what comes as it comes. i will end with this and i have a quote on my kitchen wall that my wife found and says the great problem with quotes on the internet is determining whether they are authentic,er abraham lincoln. [laughter] >> senator langford. >> gentlemen, thank you for being here i hope you hear loud and clear from this committee there are lots of questions and you are asking lots of questions and this is not in opposition of free speech, though.
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this is a battle to protect free speech. we want to have good american dialogue and the fear is that your problems are being used by foreign actors that want to abuse our free speech. if two americans have a disagreement, let's have at it and let's walk it through as to americans. if an outsider wants to do it, we do have a problem with it. we are trying to be able to work through that. we are grateful you are here and that you will walk through us and we look for to our cooperation together and figure out how to resolve these extremely competent issues. i do want to push on this issue about the type of ads and the type ofe content. you imagine from your testimony that in order of the 131,000 posted during the time and i assume that means september to november time period that you are attracting 9% of those plates from those russian targeted accounts where they were election related. the others were social engagements and other issues and i think that is being lost in
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the conversation that only 9% of the seats were election related. my question is for all of your platforms what are you seeing from russian related accounts that you are tracking now and are trying to pull down or identify what are the social issues being discussed right now the site. i understand that you can go back to last six months if you want to but give me some examples of the type of social issues that they are engaging with? one has been mentioned by senator king and the nfl, boycott or take any on that. has that been actively pursued on your side? >> one example we saw following the o election was an effort by the accounts we have identified to inflame some of the postelection demonstrations he saw. some of the accounts turned to questioning the electoral
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college as an example. >> 's let me walk through multiple examples. some of them have been public report to the site they been used in trying to ignore events that were protest events in certain cities and that was sending out messages saying we are going to posted the spots but excreted by russian group -- what else, nfl? yes, sir no on that. >> we have seen that activity. >> okay. what otherer issues? >> be seen limited use of arsenic services but police shootings and racial issues. >> okay. what else? >> certainly immigration has remained a topic throughout. >> any other issues? >> this is part of the reason the multiple members and the senator mentioned early. we want these guys out of the public space. we think there is great value
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for all of your platforms will say this is the type of content that foreign actors are actually trying to put out that our divisive content. when we put it out and that's one thing but when you put out that's different. we think there's a great benefit for you to say when you are aware of things, please note this is the type of issue that has been i coming up and this is what it looks like. people can say this is the type of thing i've seen it before or they can say i have actually liked on that for and didn't have an idea that was russian related. i will ask a question when were you aware of russian activities on your platform during the election time -- when were you aware that entities within the russian government whether that be the internet research agency or other individual agencies that you knew of that were government related or policy related were involved in election issues on your platform before or after the election? all. you can say.
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>> we were aware of russian state actors on the platform prior to and through the election separate from the internet research agency and communicative with law-enforcement about our concerns at the time. these actors were engaged in more traditional cyber threat activity focusing on account compromise as well as trying to direct attention to stolen information and that was posted on other sites. >> how far back? early 2016, 2015? >> we had seen activity as early as 2015. >> mr. trust. >> printer also saw activity from the ira on a platform and took large-scale action to take down account in 2015. we generally are aware of committee reports
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so he became aware of the activity in the report that came out in january of this year and obviously through the russian work they've uncovered what we think is the full extent and we are continuing to look and research the issue. >> mr. walker. >> they been looking at is god's issues for many years and it was only after the issue the report in january that no 11 of the things we're trying to address is getting additional information and getting other posts that have been done would be helpful to the american people to see. getting the cystic a little information would be helpful. the statistics you have given us are the number of accounts that are related to this but it is not giving us the breadth and depth of those accounts they are activated. for instance, it's helpful to note that 1% of those accounts were russian related but but we are not getting statistically is was that 1% the first 1% and
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they actually created and launched it ine millions of people sought u after that or ae they in the middle storing it and advancing it or were they beginning it and that would be helpful to us, as well. i know you have that data to be able to say did they started, worthy in the middle of broadcasting it so give us the percentage of users that shared it doesn't help us, knowing when in that process and what happened after it that helps us. you have done a lot of work on terrorism, on islamic extremism in advanced devices and you've done child pornography on human trafficking and theas sales of illegal drugs on your side and we are asking for help in this area as well. this is something i would hope we do not have to engage legislatively or at the possible touch and we have been actively engaged and we look forward to patient in this, as well. i do hope in the days ahead we can protect a platform force free speech and allow individuals to speak their opinions whether to agree or
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disagree. thank you. >> thank you all. russian state news organization, federal intelligenceew call tha, the principal outlet of propaganda. our america tv broadcast derogatory information about the united states and technical information warfare directed against the united states according to classified intelligence report released on the 2016 electionre thehe kremln staffs supervises the coverage recruiting people to convey russian strategic and to spend $190 million a year on the distribution and dissemination of party programming. can you answer do you allow rt to purchase space or advertise on your accounts? >> we have often supported which means we have banned russia today in the related accounts
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from advertising on the twitter platform. >> that is effective as of one? >> that was effective as a week or so ago. >> we have reviewed the rt accounts and as you know they advertises extensively in newspapers and magazines across the united states. cannot find violations of our counts but we are focused on making sure that there are enhance transparency with the government-funded broadcasting whether rt or al jazeera. >> the same is true for facebook, senator. >> it says here this rt uses googles, youtube and facebook and twitter as the main distributors of their content. you all have been the main go to to get their propaganda out for the united states and to do harm. >> that may be true online but rt is covered by rt channels are included on major cable television networks, satellite, hotel television choices w et cetera. it's a problem that goes
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beyond -- >> the labs are antivirus software and do you have it on your personal commuters under computers? >> no, sir [inaudible] >> could you check and follow up? >> we will. >> we are not aware but we will follow upou with your staff. >> likewise smacked you have doubts about russians involved in interfering with our 2016 election for short give any doubts at all that russia intervened, interfered or had it found outcomes? do you have any doubts about that? >> we have no doubt there were attempted efforts at interference and if they were focused on addressing going forward in terms of whether it had an effect on the outcome that is not something were in a
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position to judge. >> let me ask this: are you or your ceos concern about the or damage that they can do to the us with your far-reaching power and you have been identified as the major distributors offa big news? are you concerned about that -- to your ceos talk about the threat or is it basically just a business model? >> we are deeply concerned. this is an issue that we talk about constantly. as i said earlier, the first part of this year we pointed our entire engineering product on tackling the issue of information quality, abuse of our system and perfecting our users. >> i join that. it's a serious issue. the northstar of google is to provide accurate comprehensive, relative information to people. we don't't always get it right t we have tens of thousands of engineers we're trying to prove our algorithms and we address the problem of breaking news which is very challenging to get
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right when there is a constant out there. we take this seriously. >> you would all agree then that legislation been introduced by different members in bipartisan efforts to you should be regulated and overseen -- will you all fight back on the lobby against her or will you support the legislation to be needed to fight that the american people will get the facts and not to use? >> senator, we stand ready to work with the committee on legislation and any particular pieces of legislation we are pursuant to happy to talk about. >> you are all three lawyers and actually watching closely what we put out. do you agree with the exemption and would you support a change in a law that treats all political advertises to require identification to sponsor and basically the legislation we put forth?er
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>> very supportive of the direction of the honest as act and have productive conversations. >> we have some fine tuning that we would love to talk about but as youou said we put out our own transparency center that aligns with then information with the honest add act is asking us to provide. >> according to an oxford university study released inhe october russian trolls are now targeting military personnel on facebook. allegedly these trolls are pushed big news injecting them into veterans group and to active-duty personnel. in fact, one fake facebook page is highlighted inn a stars & stripes article from october the 18th and the page was called vietnam vets of america and it had attracted the following of nearly 200,000. the real 2 veterans organization called it an imposter page and in another example of military and veterans were being targeted. a week after thein original article was reported on octobe
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october 18 facebook reportedly took down the site. [inaudible] i asked facebook enter in is the story accurate and did you all know about it and are you seeing our military and veterans being targeted and how come it took so long? >> senator, we are intensely proud of the use of facebook by our military. >> were not talk about that. were talking about the people that are being targeted. >> yes, they were focused on being major that it's an authentic experience for them. we receive many reports of inauthentic behavior and we try to act on them quickly. were trying to improve our tools to detect it even before it's reported to us. not lawyer with a particular page you described. >> i hope you will check in that. >> certainly, i will. >> if you can see all of us and this is not a democrat or
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republican issue but an american issue. we are concerned about. the security of our nation. we are getting hit from every way that you can possibly imagine and you are all the largest, one of the largest distributors of usese and there can be no doubt that it has to be authentic and true. this cannot be allowed against the united states of america. you are in the front lines. were doinge everything we can to support our military, our veterans and all the people their lives on the line and what you are doing by allowing this bigg stuff to come across is misleading and damaging information. it is threatening the security and safety in the sovereignty of our nation. i would hope that your ceos and i agree with senator king, i wish the ceos would be here. they need to answer for this. it can't be a business model. it's gotta be a security issue.
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>> thank you gentlemen for your parents this morning. i want to discuss twitter's history of cooperation with our intelligence community. last year in an open hearing for this committee i asked nci john brennan about rent a subsidiary called data minor from working with our intelligence community and director brennan said he was disappointed in twitter's decision but at the same time we learned that twitter was refreezing to work for the cia and the rest of the intelligence community and we learned that twitter was pitching pressure today in the kremlin advertises for profits and in essence last year and twitter was on the side of russia as opposed to the security interest and how can your company justify this pattern to his fellow citizens. >> we work frequently and we do global policies that prohibit the use of our data hoses that
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are publicly available for purposes of surveillance. we allow law enforcement to use data minor and twitter products around news alerts and response technology to see what is going on in the area at the 911 call is made an emergency response is going somewhere but we do not allow surveillance based on twitter data. >> did twitter cut off the cia intelligence community [inaudible] >> we asked our policy of surveillance be applied consistently to all organizations and i believe that data has been enforcing a poli policy. >> when we approach russia today last year to talk to sell them are advertising services we approached the regular like the bbc or npr -- >> do you consider them to be a regular media organization. >> odyssey, not now.
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in the retrospective work we have done most recently we do not. that is why we have man's russia today from advertising on the twitter platform. >> so, the advertising question it's different in the use of data minor anda according to the wall street journal report to which director brennan was responding to ceo vetoed the [inaudible] wall street journal report also said that customers are still getting data minor includes rt and is that an accurate port? >> i don't have the information but we will follow up on russia today's use of data minor's product which is a third party where we have a relationship. i believe mr. dorsey wanted to make sure that our policies were being applied consistently around surveillance.
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>> do you see a [inaudible] between the agency and russian intelligence services? >> we are not offering our service for surveillance to any government. >> see you apply the same policy to our intelligence committee that you apply to it adversary? >> as a global company with high consistent directories. >> this reminds me of lines of the cold war of one who did not see af distinct between the cia and the kgb on the other hand. kgb officer pushed an old lady in front of an oncoming bus and a cia officer pushed the old lady out the path of the oncoming bus because they both go around pushing old ladies. i hope that twitter will reconsider its policies when it is dealing with friendly intelligence services in countries like the united states in the uk as opposed to adversarial countries like
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russia and china. would twitter entertain the possibility of once again allowing thehe intelligence community to use data minor? >> we do today for purposes of news alert and first response technology and getting information on certain areas. we do not allow anyone and our policy is not allow anyone to the purpose of user privacy to user technology to run surveillance. >> of move on to another hostile intelligence service. other than vladimir putin rush f can't of anyone who is more involved in the effort to influence our election last year then julian and wikileaks. mike pompeo as well as his committee in our annual intelligence authorization act has labeled wikileaks a non- safe, hostile intelligence service hates hostile foreign powers like the kremlin. yet, to my knowledge twitter still allows them to operate
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uninhibited. is that accurate? >> we have terms of service and rules that apply to all users and we apply those consistently and without bias. we take action on accounts like wikileaks -- >> is a bias to decide of america over our adversaries? >> we are trying to be unbiased around the world. we obviously are an american company and care deeply about the issues that we are talking about today but as it relates to wikileaks or other counts like it, we make sure they are in compliance with the policies just like every other account and have and will continue -- >> so you will be unbiased toward wikileaks but you will take down videos of people like marsha blackburn, a republican running for the united states senate. >> marsha blackburn's was never removed the twitter platform. she iran that trait and video as an advertisement and we have different standards for our advertisement that we do for our intricate organic tooth and content on a platform because we
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are serving as users who haven't asked to follow representative blackburn or others and we want to make sure that's a positive experience and so, our policy has a different standard. in that case we had users reporting that it was inflammatory and upsetting and initially taken down. we are making these tough calls all the time and in that case we reverse the decision and allowed the advertisement to continue to run but we never took down representative blackburn treat or allow her not to convey that message to those who were following her and to engage in the dialogue with her. >> mr. edgett, i know you're acting general counsel and these decisions are made by the ceo and board of directors. i have to say that most american citizens would expect american companies to be willing to put the interests of our country above, not on par with, our adversaries, countries like russia and china or nonstate
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actors like wikileaks for individuals like julian of fund. as many other members of this committee express your company's have a complete a compass many things for our country and our citizens and made our lives better in many ways. i also support the channels you credit for space the speech for some oppressed and persecuted people around the world. butro this kind of attitude i would submit is not acceptable to thes large majority of americans and it will be part of what would lead to unwise or regulation, not sensible and smart regulation. my time has expired. >> thank you. california is home to many of thee world successful technology companies and we are proud of that and we also know that with that great success comes great responsibility. new york companies therefore have a great responsibility to the american public and you are the modern postmaster and you are the phone company in the yellow pages.
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you are the newspaper and the radio broadcaster and the television station. you are the emergency alert system. your decisions fundamentally inform public discourse. so, our nation's enemies have used your platforms in a way that has been designed to create and disseminate an average has made hateful rhetoric with the intent and effective disrupting our democracy and that is, of course, why we are here. i have several questions but i would like to start with what i think is likely an elephant in the room. i am holding up the fcc form 10q that has been filled out by each of your company's and your response to this is pretty much the same but i have in front of me that from facebook and and off of it has the same information. there is a section here that requests what are the risks related to the business and it reads if we fail to [inaudible]
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it goes on to say the generate substantially all of our revenue from advertising, the loss of marketers or reduction in spending by marketers could seriously harm our business and he goes on to say our advertising revenue could also be adversely affected by a number of other factors including adverse legal development relating to advertising including legislative and regulatory development and developments in litigation. so, my question to you is i would like to talk specifically about american ads, not russian ads. american ads run on your platform. if there are legitimate ads that appeared alongside of the russian placement and propaganda pages on facebook, twitter and even on youtube. can you please tell me that as it relates to those advertisements on facebook and on twitter or in youtube how you
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are addressing that and in particular how much money did you make off the legitimate ads that iran alongside the russian propaganda and we can start with google, please. that would be the advertisement that iran for your videos on youtube. >> the total amount of advertising was $4700 and -- >> how much money did you make from legitimate advertising that i ran alongside the russian propaganda? >> i don't have it in front of me but i'd be happy to follow up. >> what about twitter? >> i don't have the data but i will follow up. >> have you looked into that smart. >> i believe you are asking how much advertising revenue we made for the. totally? >> i'm asking how much advertising revenue did you receive from legitimateti
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advertisers that advertise alongside or in connection with russian propaganda? >> we have not done that analysis but we will follow up and work on that. >> what about this book? >> the same is true for facebo facebook. >> we've not done that consolation. >> i find that difficult to understand because it would seem to me that we would figure out how much you profited from russian propaganda on your platform. please, do follow up the senate as soon as possible on that. also it is critically important that this committee have access to all of the information it needs to understand the russian propaganda in the 26 election so will you each commit to retaining records as you are required to do the minimum standard of media grading research but do that and extended beyond the 11 month that they require an extended through the completion of our investigation into questions interference in the 2016
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election? will you commit to keeping those records during the duration of our investigation? >> we will keep all relevant and provide them to committee the same goes for twitter. >> thank you. for all three of you can you please name of the senior executives responsible for your operation for countering state-sponsored information operation and if you do not have one, please indicate that as well. >> it's a challenging question because we have a number of people across different teams including our cyber espionage team as well as our trusted safety teams. they are chief security officer such person. another person would be the head of our trusted safety team. youd individuals part of your executive team. >> i will take responsibility for that. >> there is to people
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filling that role at twitter the so with our twitter product has taken responsibility for information quality that is directly >> i would like everyone to appreciate that this is a very specific issue with its own -- requiring its own research. this is not about it individual conducting activity and you need to review it. as it relates to state-sponsored information operation, requesting a name whoever is responsible now. and as we go forward you designate someone at the executive level responsible
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specifically for those operations, understanding as we know now, there are governments willing to put resources into many played in the american public. >> host: what you need to review in terms of activity on your sites in regards to inappropriate in images and things like that nature. >> we have a threat intelligence team acutely focused on this thread. i will take responsibility for overall response. >> how many of your employees are dedicated to addressing state-sponsored operation? specifically, and if they're not please follow up with what you're going to dedicate to the. >> that's a harder question because there's so many vectors
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were investing in. we have 10000 people who are focused on safety and security, generally. the number of people who think of it as their full-time job have to come back. >> thank you. you can create automated systems that detect form propaganda. you can determine if a user is active during moscow business hours or connect through bpm, a telephone number and you can see this a feed those into a machine that can create an algorithm that allows us to figure out a propaganda is being pushed through. have you done that as it relates to state-sponsored manipulation of election? >> technology is agnostic. we have the technology, an algorithm that helps us catch the back actors and connect accounts so they start new accounts it gets us.
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we want to catch that all over twitter. having malicious actors on twitter is a bad experience for our users. the been tackling the problem for years. as we get better, the actors get better. it's a game of cat and mouse. we are committed to making sure were removing them from the platform. >> i have the same. >> member should be aware there's been a series of votes started seven minutes ago, to members are left in will move through those and rough up. at this time i ask consent that all members be allowed for seven days to submit questions to the witnesses. >> thank you for being here, strikes me that the united
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states is operating at a tremendous disadvantage. we are free and open society, we respect the privacy rights opponents, have the opposite view. they view information as a tool of warfare while denying their own citizens access to these freedoms, and individual thought expression that we celebrate. you're at the intersection of this problem which brings us to why you're here today. the chairman's comments he started by quoting hl mencken is set for every complex problem there's a clear, simple, and wrong answer. we need to be careful in how we deal with this, but i think the
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public needs to understand how your platforms operate. senator harris talked about being the town square and newspaper but you are more than a publisher of information, most of the income your company's earnings from data mining. you know more about individual americans than anybody else, including their government. any vow to protect that information in their privacy. but you use it to target ads, many of us on the panel have used your platforms in political campaigns to make sure our message gets to voters who we think might be receptive to our point of view or platform. as a general matter how do you
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distinguish between what jenna feinstein alluded to do using social media as a means to recruit and incite normal terrorist like nepal down unsuspecting new yorkers yesterday, killing eight and injuring 11. how do you distinguish between that person and foreign government using your platforms to press them and pursue this disinformation and active measures that cause confusion and polarization in our election? how do you distinguish between the way you treat those people and how you treat sex traffickers were targeting young girls and selling them in essence, for sex. how do you distinguish between those three? >> none of those are accepted on our platforms.
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in addition, when you have the added layer of a deceptive like a foreign government, trying to push its point of view and deceptive ways without identifying itself, that violates another policy. >> we also have the same policies, we've had the best success so far looking at the behavior and signals received the twitter sign on how accounts are linked in the activities, what they're doing with each other to stop them before they can tweet. an example of this is on the terrace inside. we can detect and take down 95% of the accounts. because refocusing on behavior not content we don't have to wait before they can get their
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message out. >> of the three forms of abuse of the platform that you describe, child safety, terrorism and foreign interference in election, the first two we been working on for a long time and have a proven track record of working well together to make sure taking steps to address those. we were to do but we have made progress. the threat of foreign interference in the election we need to upper game. as a company and industry. the successes we've had on the first two forms gives me reason to look forward. >> for each of you, have the terms of service of your company changed at all since the 2015/16
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policy. >> yes, we have changed arse. >> focus on active measures or other matters? >> terms have to do with terms round advertising and what acceptable content is. using tools to identify. >> a similar twitter. >> same as facebook. >> why should your company's be treated different than the press from a legal accountability standpoint? >> we believe is a user generated content platform the rules in section 230 provides a platform for users around free
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speech and expression. they don't require us to take a bias on content that we fear will violate rights. we work to prohibit violence, terrorism, abuse and harassment. but, we believe is user generated content we want to allow the free expression and debate without the interference of what you're talking about. >> so you believe you should be treated differently than a newspaper, a cable tv show, radio show. >> were not producing the content, were allowing users to upload. and they're linking back to their own sites. raw from the service to allow that information sharing. >> that distinction may be lost on most of us.
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as opposed to being a publisher in your own right of those views. we ask you to be to continue to work with us on the stop enabling sex traffickers act. this deals with the communication decency act which has been used as a legal bar for those who have been victims of sexual abuse. when they bring that to justice i think there is way working together we could come up with something that protects the victims maintains the freedom of the internet. i would encourage you to work with us on that. >> fall the panelists, when you
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discovered a deceptive foreign government presentation earlier platform presumptions you stop and take it down. do you feel an obligation to notify the people who have access that. can i shouldn't you do that? >> with an obligation to stop it and investigate it further than fan out from the account to make sure taken an expansive view. then to share threat and then to bring the issue to the attention of this case, this committee. were supportive of making it publicly available.
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the question of reaching out to individuals who may have seen it is more difficult and complex. our commitment to transparency generally should address that. >> potential you could do that or have the resources to do it. as a result, frankly according to us about the various activities of national will not translate to the thousands or 126 many people who saw the message and thought it was legit. i presume you have the skill to do that. >> again, we correct the same and we made the other day, it was wrong or deliberately wrong and i think given the first amendment you can live with th
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that. >> i'm sorry, could you pete question. >> goes back to having an obligation under the first amendment to notify people who you know have been deliberately misled by foreign government, not just us or law enforcement. >> the technical challenges associated with that undertaking are substantial, particularly because much of the data work underneath our estimate of the number people may have been exposed relies on data analysis and modeling. we do believe transparency in this area is important were supportive of making this information available to the public as it's deemed warranted.
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>> i didn't warranted. >> we have a team dedicated to information quality and how we present information on the platform. we see active dialogue around a lot of this false information and so when you seen the tweets you also seen replies to, showing people where to go and where their information is. but we will take that idea back. >> because were not a social network many of our users are not logged in at the time. >> is that, you can identify about system on your platform
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and then, am i right to assume you shut them down, and a bad system you'll shut down or particularly a government pot system. >> bots are primarily a twitter issue will. >> okay not the tech expert but youtube is your subsidiary, a lot of the hits on youtube i presume were generated by electronic devices, people to the rt program that was attacking secretary of state clinton headed to percent -- with a huge number of hits on youtube. as a result, you are being used
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by bot systems all the time. >> and automated view of content is at the core issue, what people try to do is drive up their perceived accounts to make themselves appear more popular than they are. >> this is a problem many people would like to make themselves appear more popular than they are. we have tools designed to combat that. >> and if you find that you reduce the number of hits is no longer trending? >> either that or remove people from services. >> bots. >> we remove bad automated counts as we can find.
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some of the bad actors are trying to get more sophisticated. were seen ahead of that by learning from the automatic accounts. trying to make sure that they are not gaining trends. we'll remove content from search and from timelines. a permanently from the system once we investigate. >> we prohibit automated account creation. in doing so were looking for evidence of a counts be created and engaging in those behaviors that have been identified. >> this is a daunting effort. were being attacked, and you have to go on the counter offense because of how we
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structured the system. we have very limited government role. your regulation and your activities. i would like you to follow up officially. what percent of your revenue are you devoting to the zack 70s? in finding bots, you find recipients with bad information. >> i can't give you a percentage. i can say that were committed to getting this right. we are doubling the amount of people focused on the efforts in the coming year. >> can you give us a number in writing please.
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>> we also dedicate a lot of resources to this. i will follow up. >> recommends the vice chair. >> thank you. i want to acknowledge senator reid. think you race a good question. if you are not medical facility and exposed to a disease you would have to tell the folks expose. the same is with tv and radio making corrections. i have to tell you, i think there has been some progress made and i appreciate some of your efforts. i still find it very disturbing that it appears elyse from twitter and facebook the sense that all these measures only originated on one farm in
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st. petersburg. most of the register of the above your initial reports. believed he would come in today say that we've identified other entities. we have more work to do. >> will come to the close of this if, for some reason you need antitrust waivers to collaborate with each other, please let us know. this is going to take an overall effort to minimize, i'm not going to use the word eliminate. to minimize the damage of more portly impact of what russia is doing, to do, and what others
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will do next year. behavior companies have a new degree security anyhow changes that are good. the challenges, if it fails the impact of the failure is different than it is in the 2016 elections. you all acknowledge that this applies to you. but you all asked for an exemption from the applicable fec law. i am reminded a portion of the content posted on facebook by facebook appear to support one candidate or another. clearly it falls within the lines of what the law called
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for. federal campaign law requires disclosures of sources for ads. you said you guys were adapting anything, i apology on that. sure if i asked you why you did not apply it, you matter to me before the law did not apply to because i have a hung jury in the current decide or may be an excuse that it was small items and had an exception to the disclosure. there is no exception to the disclosure as it relates to foreign money used influence election. the national security issue. it's a direct attempt to infiltrate the democracy here.
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if it's not stated in the law should be in your company responsibility to take it on. in the future, i hope if there's take away that everybody will adhere to fec law. if your media outlet known that it applied to you. for some reason you ever questioned if it was foreign money than he probably didn't run the ad. i hope none of your platform is not verifying where that money is coming from. the one thing i didn't hear his effort to certify who is paying for these things. i, like others don't the government to stipulate what content should look like. but the same token. the frontline before anything kicks in.
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to certify for money is not finding its way to influence the election. i wish actively viewing thing we had to worry about with selections. the truth is we've spent time trying to figure out what bots were things that i do not use, but i have to understand in a way as a policymaker, makes decisions that are best for my kids and grandkids. make sure they can experience things i couldn't. but i can feel influenced because i don't understand it because i have to match my intellect with the people -- to let nationstates disruptor future, you are the front line of defense for it. this hearing is adjourned.
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[inaudible] [inaudible] >> a violent political, conservatives pushed through the obama care mandates. the want to include repeal of the mandate in the tax package, tax bill writers did not include that yesterday. political reports there may be new momentum for adding the repeal into the bill. they say senator ted cruz and mark meadows are joining the effort. you'll have a chance to learn more about the tax plan on monday on the house ways and
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means committee reviews the measure line by line. the markup will be live, hear and see spend two beginning at 2:00 p.m. eastern. if unreadable to see that takes you to the congressional chronicle page and you can read the bill. coming up on saturday morning abraham denmark will join us to discuss the goals and significance of president trumps trip to asia. then will feature than nuclear. and justin discusses the testimony of facebook, twitter,
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and google execs before congress russia's use of social media in the election. watch "washington journal", live 7:00 a.m. eastern on saturday morning. during the discussion. >> u.s. ambassador to canada, kelly knight and canadian ambassador to the u.s. talked about u.s. canada relations. this is about 25 minutes. >> does fall to me to be the guy that interrupts your dinner. we know this is the canadian-american business council, that is excellent. i like to intrude on your sunday mornings


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