WASHINGTON – Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged in a hearing Wednesday that the company was too slow to respond to efforts by foreign actors, including Russia, to use its platform to interfere in U.S. elections.
“We were too slow to spot this and too slow to act. That is on us,” Sandberg told the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing on Capitol Hill that was focused on whether regulatory changes were needed for social media giants.
“We’re getting better at finding and stopping our opponents.”
There are a growing number of proposals to regulate big tech making the rounds in Washington, among them a proposal to audit algorithms used by tech companies to determine what content users see, but there’s not much the White House could do without the cooperation of Congress. That’s despite the fact that Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow recently said the administration is “taking a look” at federal regulations for Google.
The purpose of the Senate hearing is to assess how well social media companies are confronting foreign influence on their platforms. Top intelligence officials in the Trump administration have said Russia and other countries are working to sway voters ahead of this year’s midterm elections. Facebook said in July that it had detected a covert campaign to influence the November elections through the use of posts on hot-button social issues, and it deleted hundreds of pages and accounts.
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