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tv   Social Media Executives Testify on Russian Interference in U.S. Elections...  CSPAN  September 7, 2018 7:31am-8:46am EDT

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encourage healthy participation to increase the reach and the value of that public square. this earring stands at recess, subject to the call of the chair .
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senator burr: the chair would recognize senator collins for questions. senator collins: thank you, mr. chairman. first, let me thank you, both, for being here and also to express my outrage that your counterpart at google is not at the table as well. mr. dorsey, as of january of this year, twitter has taken down more than 3,800 russian i.r.a. accounts that by twitter's own estimate reached approximately 1.4 million people.
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one of those accounts purported to be under the control of the tennessee g.o.p. -- although it was not. it was a russian i.r.a. account. it had more than 140,000 followers and would sometimes spread conspiracy theories and false claims of voter fraud. my question to you is, once you have taken down accounts that are linked to russia, these imposter accounts, what do you do to notify the followers of those accounts that they have been following or engaged in accounts that originated in russia and are not what they appear to be?
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mr. dorsey: thank you for the question. we simply haven't done enough so we don't have, in this particular case, we don't have enough communication going out in terms of what was seen and what was tweeted and what people are falling into. we do believe transparency is a big part of where we need the most work and improvement and it's not just with our external communications. it's actually within the product and the service itself. we need to meet people where they are, and if we determine that people are subject to any falsehoods or manipulation of any sort, we do need to provide them the full context of that and this is an area of improvement for us and something we will be diligent to fix. senator collins: i think this is critically important if a follower just gets a message that says, this twitter account is no longer available, that does not alert the individual that he or she has been
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receiving messages from a russian entity whose goal is to undermine public confidence in elected officials and our democratic institutions. so i really think we need something more than even the tombstone or something else. we need to tell people that they were taken in or victims, innocent victims of foreign influence campaign. the ms. sandberg, let me ask you the same question. what is facebook doing? ms. sandberg: we agree with you that people need to know so we've been discussing these publicly as well as in specific cases notifying people. so we notified people directly if they had liked or had liked the original i.r.a. accounts. most recently, when there was an
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event that was going to be happening in washington, inauthentic accounts, we notified people who rsvp'd that event or was interested in going to the event. senator collins: that was defeat the right or something like that, as i recall. mr. dorsey, back to you. clemson university researchers him him and others have shown him that these russian i.r.a. accounts target specific leaders and social movements across the political spectrum. and, again, the goal of the russians, iranians, anyone else who's involved in this influence campaign is to undermine the public's confidence in political leaders and weaken our democratic institutions and turn us against one another.
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well, i learned, not from twitter, but from clemson university that i was one of those targeted leaders and that there were 279 russian-generated tweets that targeted me that had gone to as many as 363,000 followers. so why doesn't twitter notify individuals like me that we have been targeted by foreign adversaries? i shouldn't find out from looking at clemson university's database and working with their researchers. it seems to me that once you determine that, you should notify the people who are the targets. mr. dorsey: i agree. it's unacceptable. and we -- as i said earlier, we want to find ways to work more
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openly, not just with our peer companies but with researchers and universities and also law enforcement. because they all bring a different perspective to our work and can see our work in a very different light and we are going to do -- we're going to do our best to make sure we catch everything and we inform people when it affects them, but we are not going to catch everything so it is useful to have external partnership and work with them to make sure that we're delivering a message in a uniform matter to make sure people are actually without requiring them to find a new channel to get that information. this is where a lot of our thinking is going and a lot of our work is going, but we recognize we need to communicate directly more. we recognize we won't catch everything alone so we need to develop better partnerships in order to do that. senator collins: i would -- in closing my questioning -- by
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encouraging both of you to work more closely with academia, with our government, the clemson university researchers have done extraordinary work, but they have said that they've been provided data that is only within the last three years. which does not allow them to do the kind of analysis that they'd like to do. and that's probably because the new european union privacy laws, but the e.u. has provided research exemptions. so i hope that you will commit to providing data that goes beyond that three-year window to researchers who are looking into russian influence efforts on your platforms. thank you, mr. chairman. senator burr: senator harris. senator harris: thank you for
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accommodating. i am in another hearing. good morning. to the invisible witness, good morning to you. i have a few questions. ms. sandberg, on november 2, 2017, your general counsel testified in front of this intelligence committee on russian interference and i asked a few questions. i asked -- how much money did you make -- this is of the representative from both facebook and twitter, both of your general counsels were here. i asked, how much money did you make from legitimate advertising that ran alongside the russian propaganda? the twitter general counsel said, quote, we haven't done the analysis but we'll follow-up with you and work on that. the facebook general counsel said the same is true for facebook. again, i asked facebook c.e.o. mark zuckerberg on april 10, 2018, and he said, quote, internet research agency, the russian firm, ran about $100,000 worth of ads.
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worth of ads. following the hearing i asked facebook the same question in writing. we received a response that says we believe the annual revenue attributed to an authentic or false accounts is immaterial. what did you mean by immaterial? confused about the use of that term in this context. >> we believe the total of the ad spending we have found is about $100,000. i believe your question with the inorganic content is what is the possible revenue we could have made. here is the best way i have found to estimate that. 150een 2015 and 2017, up to million people may have seen the inorganic ads in our coservice.
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they don't run attach to any specific content that are scattered throughout. 0.004% ofuivalent to the material in the newsfeeds. but i will say that any amount is too much. are you saying, that the revenue generated was .004% of your annual revenue? that would not be immaterial. notgain, the ads are attached to any piece of content. sen. harris: what metric are you using to calculate the revenue that was generated associated with those ads? what is the dollar amount associated with better metric? >> the reason we cannot answer the question to your ads don't runs
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with inorganic content on our service. there is no way to firmly ascertain how much cash came from how much organic content. that is not how it works. what percentage of the content on facebook is inorganic? >> i don't have that specific answer but i can come back. sen. harris: would say it is the majority or an insignificant amount? >> we believe at any point in time it is 3% to 4% of accounts on facebook but that is not the same answer as inorganic content. sen. harris: i agree. what percentage of your content is inorganic? >> we don't know but i can follow up with the answer. sen. harris: please, that would be great. complex,ness model is usert benefits from
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engagement and that benefits from increased revenue. the more people that use the platform, the more they are exposed to third-party ads. >> can you repeat? sen. harris: the more user engagement will result in the more that they are exposed to third-party ads, the more that will increase your revenue. when they seely really authentic content. in the short run, it doesn't benefit us to have anything inauthentic on our platform. sen. harris: that makes sense. in the first quarter of 2018 the number of daily active users rose 13% and corresponding ad to $11.79rew by half billion. kould you agree -- i thin
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it's obvious, that the more people that engage in a platform the more potential there is for revenue generation? >> yes, but only when the content is authentic. concern that many have is how you can reconcile the attempt to create user engagement when the content that generates a lot of engagement is often inflammatory and hateful. -- she says, the content that is the most misleading or conspiratorial is generating the most discussion and engagement. that is what the algorithm is designed to respond to. according to that facebook's community standards, you do not allow hate speech on facebook but contrary to what we 2017,een, on june 20 8,
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pro-publica's report found hate-- where deleting speech targeting white men but not against black children because black children are not a protected class. do you know anything about that? >> i do. that hasa bad policy been changed. harris: isn't that the same with hate that not everyone is looked at the same way? hate speech is against our policy and we take strong measures to take it down and we publish publicly what our hate speech standards are. we have worked closely with civil rights groups to find hate speech on our left form and take it down. sen. harris: when is that addressed? badly written was
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and a bad example and not the real policy. sen. harris: the report i'm aware of is from june of 2017. was the policy change after that report or before the report? >> i can get back to you on the specifics. sen. harris: you are not aware of when that happened? do you remove the year? -- do you remember the year? >> you just said 2017. sen. harris: what is the official stance on hate speech regarding the so-called and legally undefined protected classes, such as children. >> hate speech is not allowed on our platform. hate speech is important in every way. a when people come to facebook to share -- they went to comment on
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the issues that matter to them. >> have you removed the requirement that you will only protect with your hate speech policy those classes of people that are designated as protected classes in a legal context? speechow that our hate policies go beyond the legal classifications and they are all public. we can did back to you on any of that. sen. harris: thank you. >> mr. blunt. there was an: article in wired magazine that said you had admitted having to rethink fundamental aspects of twitter, mr. dorsey. would that be an accurate reflection of where you have been the last year? dorsey: we are rethinking the incentives that our service is giving people. sen. blunt: what would be the biggest area where you are trying to rethink how you
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thought this would work out and what it has turned out to be? dorsey: this is pretty far-reaching and we are still in the process of doing this, but when we created the service 12 years ago, we have this concept of followers. we made the number of followers butand bold, and a simple noticeable font. just that decision alone has incentivized people to want to grow that number, to increase that number. the question we are now asking is, is that the right incentive? is the number of followers you have really a proxy for how much you contribute to twitter and this digital public square? we don't believe it is. and is one question. the way that we lay out the buttons on the bottom of every retweet, a reply, in a
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in a like, that implies an incentive and a point of view we want to encourage people to do. as we think about serving the public conversation, as we think about our singular priority of increasing the health of the conversation, we are not going to be able to do long-term work unless we are looking at the incentives than our product is telling people to do everyday. that is helpful. senator collins asked her last question, i didn't quite get the answer to that question, but i think that what she was asking is a question i had. in the interest of transparency and publication and looking at things available to researchers and policymakers, are you willing to archive suspended accounts so that people can look back at those?
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beh nba period -- would that a period of three years? can you give me a more specific answer? you didn't have time to answer that and i would like the answer. at aorsey: we are looking transparency report. we put out a transparency report around terrorism but we are looking at adding a transparency report around suspensions. blunt: as opposed to just a transparency report are you willing to archive some of this where you may not be reporting at the time but some but he could look three years down the road and try to do an analysis of why that information was out there the way it was and how it fit into your overall policy of taking whatever action you are taking? mr. dorsey: i think it is a great idea to show the
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historical public record but we need to understand what the legal applications are. to thell come back question of legal implications generally. both of your companies which have been pretty forward leaning in the last couple months, this conversation has moved pretty dramatically. the business implications, the liability implications are pretty great. sandberg, does facebook differentiate between foreign and domestic influence operations when deciding to take out a page or remove it from a platform? is inauthenticity. if something is inauthentic whether trying to remove the mystically or on a foreign basis, we take it down. indiscriminate of whether it is foreign or domestic influence?
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irase on it with the accounts. the run with her 270 accounts that were almost all targeted in russia or at russian speakers in nearby languages. a lot of those are domestic and those are down. >> as has been mentioned several times, google is not here today, but the two of you are. december, this seems like a long time ago, but only a few months since mr. zuckerberg was here testifying before congress. it seems to me that facebook has been pretty active at finding and taking down things that should not have been out there. takedown ofranian russian things that have been taken down. do a talk little bit about what is the big challenge of being at the forefront of trying to figure this out from a business perspective or a liability
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perspective? i will come to mr. dorsey with the same question. sandberg: i appreciate what you have said because we have been investing heavily in our system and decreasing the dissemination of fake news and transparency. you are seeing that payoff. we have also the tire coordination really helps us. -- that tighter coordination really helps us. some of the information we got from law enforcement and some we can share with other companies. this is a big threat and our opponents will keep getting better. more we can work together the better off we will be. blunt: how does the wherewn practice work
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legitimate accounts are sold and repurposed by others. what are you looking at their as a challenge? ms. sandberg: our policy is inauthenticity. if you are pretending to be someone you are not come a you come down -- you are not, you come down. if you are an authentic person who rsvp to an event, that is not authentic, we would let you know. sen. blunt: mr. dorsey, from a business and reliability standpoint, what is the downside of being out where you are now trying to everyday implement policies that nobody ever implement it before -- implemented before? mr. dorsey: i think there are a number of short-term risks. the only way we
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will grow and thrive as a company is increasing the health of this digital public square. as cherylnefit mentioned from tighter collaboration and tighter partnership. we've really strengthened our partnership with government agencies since 2016. there are a few areas we would like to see more strength. more regular a cadence of meetings with law enforcement partnerships. would love to understand the secular trends that they are aware of. seeing in our pure companies were other mediums, or more broadly, that would inform us about how to act much faster. we would appreciate as much as we can consolidating to a single point of contact so that we are not bouncing between multiple agencies to do our work. int is what we have found
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attempting to do a lot of the new policy and work. ultimately it comes back to -- we need to build our technologies to recognize new patterns of behavior and new patterns of attack, and to understand what they actually mean. we do get some help from our law enforcement partners to understand the intent and motivation behind it. >> thank you mr. chairman, i want to thank our witnesses and thank you to your companies and policymakers for making really .reat strides in the last year as many people have talked about. we were all on our heels a year ago on this subject and this has emerged as one of the most important parts of this committee's investigation. -- i tryto me that we
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to focus what we are after here. we are after the heart of democracy. ms. sandberg he said the heart of democracy is free and fair elections. i would argue the heart of free and fair elections is information. that is what we are talking about, getting information to people in a free and fair setting. we have three ways to defend ourselves. one is better consumer discrimination. the second is a deterrent which hasn't been mentioned here. our adversaries need to understand there is a price to be paid for trying to manipulate our society, and the third is technical. thed an experience before 2016 election meeting here in this building with a group of estoniarom lithuania, and latvia who had been
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experiencing russian interference in their elections and misinformation for years and you defend do yourself? you cannot unplug the internet or turn off the tv station? he said universally the best defense is for the people to know if is happening. i would like for me to view some thoughts and hopefully a commitment to educating your users about the potential for abuse of the very medium they are putting their trust in. >> we agree with you we have done this probably. we have worked on media literacy programs. around the world that help people discern this is real news and this is not to help people be educated. what of the most important things we're doing is once a piece of content has been rated as false, if you're about to share it, we warn you right there, this has been rated as
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false. you are as educated as you are about to take that critical step. sen. king: mr. dorsey, i hope you're are doing the same to educate your users. >> yes and to be frank we haven't done a good job at this in the past. is of the reasons why because we haven't met our customers where they are. benefit on twitter that we have this amazing constituency of journalists, globally, using our service every day and often with a high degree of velocity they call out information. we don't give them the best tools and we think a lot of improvements we can make to amplify their content and their
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messaging so people can see what is happening with that context. it can be amplified and underlined, it can become a or thealing process, response immediately response to false or misleading information. deterrence will not spend a lot of time on except to say that many of us believed one of the great gaps in our defenses against election interference is the fact that our adversaries feel no pain if they do so. we have to develop a doctrine of cyber deterrence, just as we have a doctrine of military deterrent. and something we are working on both here and with our services in other places. from users.edback
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ms. sandberg, you testified you have third-party fact checkers. would it be useful to have more in the way of ratings? ratingy sellers have a process, a number of stars and those kinds of things. is there more that you could do there to alert people as to the validity and trustworthiness? >> the most important determinant that people judge of what people see on facebook are the decisions that they make. that is what your newsfeed is so different from mine. if you don't want to follow someone or like a page we encourage you to do that. we also make it very easy to unfollowed. if an believe what you are saying a don't have to receive them. >> i'm talking about a reader who has come across something on their newsfeed that has been found manifestly false or
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misleading, a banner, a note, a star. >> we do have the related articles, we say we note that this has been rated false ensure the ardor -- the other articles that you can consider. >> one of the things we have been talking about is what we call a deep fake. the ability to manipulate video to the point where it conveys a reality that isn't real. is there a technological way that au can determine video has been manipulated in that way and tag it so that people on facebook -- it will be tagged, warning this has been manipulated in a way that may be misleading? is a question you may want to take under advisement, but it seems to me this is a new area that is going to get more and more serious.
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i'm trying to give the consumer the maximum amount of information. >> we agree that deep fakes is a new area and people will continue to find new ones. we will do a combination of investing in technology and anple so people can see authentic information on our service. >> as you think about these cures i hope you continue to come back to the idea that what we need to is give people more information. i'm a little uncomfortable for where the line is in terms of taking down misleading or fake information and taking done what somebody else may consider misleading information. jefferson said we can tolerate error as long as truth is left free to combat it. we have to make sure were not censoring but the same time we are providing our customers, your users, with information.
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context is the word you used. they can have context for what it is they are seeing. i would hate to see your platforms become political in the sense that your censoring one side or the other of any given debate. >> we absolutely agree. as we are building a digital public square, we believe expectations follow that and that is a default to freedom of expression and opinion. we need to understand when the default interferes with other fundamental human rights such as physical security or privacy and what the adverse impact on those fundamental human rights are. i do believe that context does matter. we had a case of voter wasression around 2016 that
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tweeted out and we're happy to say that organically the number of impressions calling it out as fake work eight times that the reach of the original tweets. that's not to say we can rely on that but asking the question how we make that were possible and how we do it is the right one to ask. >> that is the self-healing aspect. thoughts have further as you are flying home about technical ways to increase the information available to users through tags rating stars, please share them with us and we look forward to working with you on this problem is important to our country. >> mr. chairman want to follow up on a statement that sarah king was -- senator king was mentioning about deep fakes. it is a challenge for us and i would reiterate some of the -- we have spoken about publicly.
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there is eagerly to make video that is strikingly real but none of it is real. that is a very different day for video sharing in the days ahead. i know you have attacked issues like child pornography and other things on your platforms and you aggressively go after these things. we are just telling you we are counting on it because americans can typically trust with ac and suddenly in video they can no longer trust what they see because there is an opportunity to create video is entirely different from reality. >> i want to talk to you a little bit about following up on the things mr. blunt has mentioned as well about suspended accounts. when you suspend account there is information that is still there. do you archive all of that information? this is an account we determine is either a foreigner hostile actor or is not an authorized
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user, do you hold that information to maintain it? >> need to follow up on the exact details of our policies but i believe we do especially in regard to any law enforcement action. >> terrific. for facebook what is the process? miss sandberg: if we have any suspicion it is a hostile user will keep the information. so if lawn: enforcement subpoenas you bet is a different issue but is that something you do in your own investigation? i'm sure as you have seen in the past, some users will create a hostile account and that comes down and they create another one and there are similarities as to where they go and their directions and relationships. do you maintain that data to make sure you're well prepared >> we do our own
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internal investigations and we are benefited anytime our peers recognize something and we share the data so we can recognize our withystems -- we also work law enforcement to understand the intent. if there is a request to allow an account to lay dormant by law enforcement we will allow that to happen and work with them to make sure we are tracking it accordingly. sen. cotton: the main thing i'm trying to identify is let's say it happened in 2017 you identify an account is suspended. off.ake that account do you maintain that information? a year later if somebody comes back with a similar profile you can track it and say this is the same as what we have seen before and it will take additional steps to get back on board?
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dorsey: we do maintain that information and we have a ban evaasion policy so if something is trying to avoid a ban we will take action on that as well. sen. cotton: thank you. miss sandberg? we havedberg: law-enforcement law enforcement collection on it we would keep that information. sen. cotton: we've spoken on this as well about data. the business model for both of you is that it is a free platform for everyone to use but data and advertising are very helpful in keeping the business open and employees paid. for data in particular, how do you make sure that anyone who purchases the data or gets access to that uses it for its stated purpose, rather than using it to sell to a third-party or open up as a show company.
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onethey are using it for purpose but are actually using it for a foreign purpose. how do you ensure that companies who are purchasing the opportunity to have the data are and using it as they said? >> there were a few things here. we are a little bit different than our peers and that all of our data is public by default. when we sell data what we are selling is speed and comprehensiveness. you are purchasing either insights or a real-time streaming product. to purchase that you have to go through a strict customer policy that we an act and added -- that audit every single year. if we have any suspicion of suspicious activity happening that is an opportunity to reach out to law enforcement but the sole purpose of trying to
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understand the intent -- that is something we will not always be able to infer from us looking at the relationship. you mentioned setting up potentially are fronts for governments -- that is not information we would necessarily have and that is where we are dependent on the intelligence to inform us so that we can take stronger action . >> how do you determine or what -- there is an initial relationship but not a follow-up after that? is herhat is determined anyway to check in on those companies to make sure they are for filling the terms of service? >> absolutely and we do it every year on a regular basis but if we see anything suspicious of any point in time we will reach out. sen. cotton: how is the encryption on facebook? what is the relationship with whatsapp?
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sandberg: encryption keeps our people safe, it secures the banking system and the -- private messages and consumers relent -- depend on and rely on that. sen. cotton: so that encryption is end to end on the whatsapp platform. but we will get back q&a in a technical details but to my knowledge it is. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i grew up in an age without computers and social media so i am trying to get acclimated the best that i can. i've seen how they have been used by my children ander crenshaw from and how much it helps connect people. i also have concerns with internet and social media and how it has been used against us. and i think you are hearing the
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concerns from my fellow colleagues appear. there is intent to divide americans to change our way of life to change our democracy as we know it can be devastating. my beautiful state of west virginia has been hit extremely hard by illicit drugs and pharmaceutical opiates. cording to a recent wired -- illegally selling opiates on instagram. the practices on twitter as well. in many ways the tools used by opiate dealers are the same as those adopted by other bad actors including russia. ads that are easily circumventing the platforms, filters and oversights and using the attentionin of those interested. opioidckerberg said the crisis was the biggest surprise
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and said to see but it still took months to take measures to correct the problem of people were still dying. code to 30o the u.s. formally known as the decency of communications act of 1996, online service providers shall not be held civilly liable for content that a third-party hosts on their platform and michelin the treated as the publisher or spreader of the content. many prosecutors are increasingly treating the deaths as a homicide and looking to hold somebody criminally accountable. onre are now laws devised drug dealers responsible for the deaths of victims using the drugs they provided and in some cases they are charging friends and partners of the deceased. i've heard reports of the details in the way that drug dealers continue to use your platform for illegal drug sales. to what extent do you bear the responsibility for the death of
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a drug dealer received three platform? either one. sandberg: i am happy to go. the opioid crisis has been devastating and takes the lives of people in our country and around the world. it is firmly against our policies to buy or sell any pharmaceuticals on facebook which includes opioid drugs. we rely on an economy of machines and people reporting to take things down. we took an additional step recently which is we are requiring treatment centers who want to buy ads to be certified by a respected third-party. another of the problems is that some treatment centers are doing 's we will require some certification before they can purchase ads and try to reach people for treatment. mr. dorsey: this is also
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prohibited on our service and we have a responsibility to fix it anytime we see it. we are looking deeply at how this information spreads at this activity spread so we can shut it down before it spreads too far. do youtough question is feel any responsibility because there have been a lot of people affect and add a lot of people who have died receiving information for how to obtain drugs through your platform. i would go another step. and like we passed fosta sesta waa. don't you think we should do the same with opiate drugs and the way they are being used in your platform? would you support us doing that? mr. dorsey: we are certainly open to dialogue.
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we benefit from a lot of the protections it gives for us in the first place to take action on the content within our service. that is the only reason we are able to even speculate that we can increase help in the public square. balance whatnally those changes are. >> would it change the way that billse your platform with 230? can but we do that independent of changes to 230. dorsey: we do that independent of changes to 230. dberg: it has been very important in enabling companies like ours to do proactive things without increasing our liability. we would like to work very closely on how that would enacted. >> final question.
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why are you not doing business in china? >> we are blocked in china. >> we are as well. >> for what reasons? >> the chinese government has chosen not to allow our service in china. >> did you not accept the terms of how you do business in china? or just block from coming in? or did they give you a chance? other social platforms seem to be adapting and going in. i know a lot of the drugs, the fentanyl and all of that come from china. we are trying to shut that down but i was interested that you all both have been blocked. i would assume he did not agree to their terms -- you did not agree to their terms? mr. dorsey: i don't think there was any discussion around what the particular terms might be, but when we were blocked we decided it wasn't a fight worth fighting and we have other priorities. sandberg: there was no
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particular time. we've been open about the fact that our mission is to connect it is hard to do that without connecting the world's largest population but to go into china we would have to be able to do so in keeping with our values and that is not possible right now. >> senator cotton. sen. cotton: i want to commend you for your appearance here today for what will no doubt be uncomfortable questions. i wish i could say the same about google. companyyou and your should wear it as a badge of honor that the chinese communist party has blocked you from operating in their country. perhaps google did not send a senior executive today because they have recently taken operation such as terminating the cooperation they had with the american military, the operations designed not just to
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protect our troops but protect civilians as well. this is at the same time that they continue to cooperate with the chinese communist party on matters like artificial intelligence or to partner with other chinese telecom companies you are effectively arms of the chinese communist party and thatble reports suggest they are working to develop a new search engine would satisfy the chinese communist party's censorship standards after having disclaimed any intent to do so. perhaps they didn't send a witness to answer these questions because there is no answer to these questions. i just want to ask both of you, would your company's ever consider taking these kinds of actions that privilege a hostile foreign power over the united
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states and especially our men and women in uniform? sandberg: i'm not familiar with the specifics but based on how you are asking the question i don't believe so. mr. dorsey: also, no. sen. cotton: thank you for the answer. but stern to data miner -- let's turn to data miner. -- askedtime we had questions before the committee in open setting, i asked that data miner had recently ceased to cooperate with the intelligence agency and continues to operate with russia and other russian intelligence services. i have since seen reports that data miner no longer cooperates with these intelligence services. is that correct? can but that is correct. did you make that decision personally? -- mr. dorsey: that is correct.
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>> did you make that decision personally? mr. dorsey: no. sen. cotton: so you decided to cease cooperation with the russian governments or proxies like russia today? mr. dorsey: that is a different matter. sen. cotton: could you explain why you ceased that relationship with russia today and other russian intelligence proxies? learnedey: when we about the collaboration between russia today and sputnik we ceased to allow them to advertise on the platform. the amount of advertising they did was 1.9 million dollars and we donated that to a civil liberties nonprofit. >> would you now reconsider the decision to cease your cooperation with the central intelligence agency or other american intelligence agencies? >> we are always open to any legal process that an agency would present us. we don't believe it necessary.
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this is a global policy around surveillance in general. i will say that all of this information because twitter is public, is available to anyone by just going to the service. cotton: do you see a difference between cooperating with the united states government and the russian government or the chinese government? mr. dorsey: do i see a difference? i'm not sure what you mean. sen. cotton: is twitter and american company? mr. dorsey: we are an american company. sen. cotton: do you prefer to see amerco remain as the world's dominant global superpower? >> i continue to want us to help everywhere we serve and we are wishing for that but we need to be consistent about our terms of service. the reason why is that we have a right and a responsibility to protect the privacy of people on twitter from constant 20 47
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surveillance. we have other methods to enable any issues the intelligence committee might see to subpoena and give us proper -- proper legal order and we will work on that. sen. cotton: have to say i disagree with any imperative to between thet government of china and russia on the one hand and the government of the united states on the other hand. would you be consistent or evenhanded between the government of china and the government of taiwan? mr. dorsey: what i meant was a consistency of our terms of service. there will always be exceptions but we want those to go through due legal process. can but let me turn to the actions you have taken about the 2016 election. you have removed several accounts as a result of your own investigation and i commend your
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company's for that. one set of accounts that remain on your platform is wikileaks, and julian assange. pompeory of state mike classified wikileaks as a nonstate anti-united states intelligence service. some of the leak emails from the democrats from an active on both facebook and twitter has does julian assange. miss sandberg can you explain why facebook continues to allow their accounts to be active? ms. sandberg: i'm not going to defend wikileaks or the actions of any actor on our platform. been publics information and is available broadly on other media and us such a doesn't violate our terms of service and remains up on our site. sen. cotton: mr. dorsey?
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foundrsey: we have not any violation of our terms of service but we're open to any law enforcement inside that would indicate a violation of our terms. sen. cotton: thank you. my time is nearly expired. i would urge both of your companies or any company like yours to consider whether or not they want to be partners in the fight against our adversaries in places like beijing and moscow to tehran as opposed evenhanded or neutral arbiters. >> senator reid. sen. reed: thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank you for recognizing senator john mccain. we both don't know any latin so we have various translations of -- the one we like best is real
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cool. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for being here. been organizing very diligently for the 2018 elections and have tried to anticipate maligned activities we saw in 2016. have you seen the same cap of coherence from the federal government in terms of your ability to contact and work with them? we have long had very good relationships with law enforcement. new task force on this has been particularly helpful. kim but have also had strong relationships with the government. we are always looking for opportunities to improve our partnership and if i were to list them out it would be a more regular cadence of meetings. there would be more proactive
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information about secular trends they are seen on just on our platform but other platforms. finally, a consolidation of points of contact. we do have that consolidation for the 2018 elections, which we are happy with. sen. reed: one of the rules is to follow the money and you have talk about how you have identified the citizenship of advertisers, but are you able to trace the money? it is fairly easy to set up a corporation in the united states and the money could all be coming from overseas. do you go that far ms. sandberg? >> you are right that there are systemf ways to game the and we are working hard to stay ahead of any opponents are tech
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-- any tactics our opponents might choose including that one. mr. dorsey: we do our best understand the intent and what is behind them, but this is where strong partnership with government comes in. we will not always be able to infer agenda, or intent or even location in some cases. in the dialogue you talked about with enforcement, this one of those cases where they are asking you or you are asking them and you are trying to follow the money, or is it just one of those issues that is total hard to think about? both.rsey: it is sen. reed: but that would be a critical issue in terms of governing the behavior campaign. i would hope you would continue to work and we would urge her to work with you in that regard. issues, and i think senator warren and several others have brought it up is the prevalence of bots.
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i'm not a technologist, it seems like you could identify a bot's presents, that you could notify 35% or 80%ers that of the messages are generated electronically. is that feasible or something you are doing? >> it is a mixed answer. we are able to identify automations and activity coming through the api. to senator warner's comments we would be able to label that with context, but we are not necessarily as easily able to identify people who might be scripting a website. like it is an actual human or even the app making it look like an actual human performing these actions, that becomes much more challenging. in consideration of labeling and context we need to make sure
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that when people see the bought label they are assuming everything not on is human. make sure there is a precision in accuracy in those things. >> wouldn't there be a value of beginning the labeling process even with the heavily -- heavy disclaimer that this identifies only a fraction of potential fictitious actors? >> it is definitely an idea we have been considering, it is really up to the implementation at this point. >> this is one of the ideas i had an opportunity to discuss with vice-chairman warren and we are committed to working with you on it. >> let me ask you a question. going forward i think we will come to a major debate within this country and the whole world of who owns my data. me.h is rapidly becoming is it a company like facebook,
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is it a company like twitter? which raises the question of are you believe your users should have the right to control what you do with the data, whether it is selectively, generically or simply to purge it at some point? sandberg: yes, very strongly. you share it if you want if you want to delete it, he deleted and if you want to take it with you, you can download it and take it with you. >> what about those many people who in the hustle and bustle of a busy day that is a cumbersome process. aouldn't they be able to have check that says every two months to lead it or deleted as soon as i put it in? >> yes and we are working on some of those tools. we have improved and made it easier to understand what information we have, how we are
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getting it and how we will continue to iterate here. >> we believe people should have complete control over their data. senator warner brought up an interesting point earlier. i don't believe there is a real understanding of the exchange being made in terms of people performing activities on these services and services like twitter, and how they can see that as an exchange of value. those are things i would love to think more about, how do we make that more clear? i think that goes back to the incentives conversation. sen. reed: thank you, mr. chairman. our senatorsl of and the panelist for their answers. i will turn to the vice-chairman. >> thank you for the spirit you brought to this and some of your
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responses to some of the suggestions. i wish our members were still here because they all performed extraordinarily well. i take away from this three or four quick points. i very much appreciate mr. dorsey your acknowledgment that we what -- that we should move maded -- and ms. sandberg feel this as well, that we should recognize toward the ability to know whether it is an machine and just because it is a bot does not mean it is good or bad, is just a data point that an individual ought to have as they make determinations going forward. i also appreciate your notion that not only should users have access to the information, but as we work through this, how you monetize that and let users know the value of their data, i think
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that increased price transparency -- and i was grateful for your ability to even consider that because i think that would go a long way toward making this exchange better understood by individuals. i didn't get a chance to get into this at length, but around data portability. when number portability came around we got an lot more competition in the wireless industry and elsewhere. in an easy user format that can move from platform to platform i think it would be inraordinarily important terms of making sure we have competition in the space and i appreciate your comment. i think we'll have more of these areas where manipulation may take place. we both cited the horrible example of what is happening
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with the rohingya in miramar. myanmar.reciate -- in i appreciate the legal -- how we spell that out will be a challenge but he appreciate you working with me on that. i think our committee will continue to take the lead on the subjects. >> i would ask both of you if there are any rules such as antitrust, ftc regulations or guidelines that are obstacles to collaboration between companies, i hope you will submit for the record where those obstacles are so we can look at the appropriate steps we can take as a committee to open those avenues up. i want to thank both of you today and for your continued efforts to find a solution to the challenging problem. this represents a capstone to
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the four pieces of russian interference in the 2016 elections. so far we have completed our inquiry into the attempted hack on russian activities in recent u.s. elections. the obama administration's policy response to those operations. with your testimony today and this, the fourth hearing on heard theia, we have top level perspective on how to address foreign influence operations on your platforms. its this committee began investigation into russian interference, neither mark nor i fully appreciated how easily foreign actors could use social media to manipulate how americans form their views. lise -- like most technology social media has the capacity to be used for good but also to advance the agendas of those
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bent on manipulation and destruction. informationount of that companies like google collect on each and every american it is also too easy to craft a message that appears tailored just for you. the russians undertook a structured influence campaign not against the government but against the american people. moscow saw the issues that people yell about on cable news, race, religion, immigration at sexual orientation and the used those to sow discord and to foment chaos. they leveraged social media to undermine the political system as well. but russia neither leans left nor right, it simply seeks turmoil. week america is good for russia. it is important to highlight that there is a very human component to all of this. no single algorithm can fix the
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problem. social media serves as the family newsletter, a place to share life's personal joys and sorrows. the way to communicate a way to communicate one's a crisis and everything in between. -- we are at a critical inflection point. media to sowocial become an acceptable tool of state craft? will we seeycats before we take this seriously and find solutions. be at thenies must forefront in combatting those issues. know your algorithms and data collection capabilities than any government agency does or should. still, the burden is not shoulders. your government, civil society and the public will partner with
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you. a moment totake thank our staff. toy have worked diligently uncover the scope of problem. their research has been thorough. seamlesslyts are bipartisan and their drive to against foreign influence should make americans watching today proud. easy path clear and forward. we understand the problem. and it's a first amendment issue. we cannot regulate around the we alsoendment but cannot ignore the challenge. i'm confident that working a solutione can find and a path forward that will moremake a stronger, connected, more prepared to face weakenose who seek to our democracy. for your participation in being solution, we thank you immensely today. adjourned.g's now
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