Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter have been asked to testify to the U.S. Congress in coming weeks as lawmakers probe Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Executives from the three firms have been ask to appear at a public hearing on November 1st.
Representatives for Facebook and Google confirmed they had received invitations from the Senate committee but did not say whether the companies would attend. Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The requests were expected as investigators probe the alleged disruption to voters by Russian operations.
Facebook revealed earlier this month that Russian based organisations had purchased Ads aimed at polarising and ultimately dividing the nation.
Trump responded by attacking Facebook in a tweet suggesting Facebook had colluded with other media outlets that opposed him.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
Republican Senator James Lankford, who has received classified information about Russia’s interference as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that the country’s attempts to disrupt and polarise the US had not ended
Russian internet trolls have been fueling the debate ignited by Trump over whether NFL players should have the right to kneel during the national anthem, Lankford said.
Meanwhile the Daily Beast reported that a facebook group “United Muslims of America” was a fake account linked to the Russian government.
“After the election, I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea. Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it. This is too important an issue to be dismissive. But the data we have has always shown that our broader impact — from giving people a voice to enabling candidates to communicate directly to helping millions of people vote — played a far bigger role in this election.” said Mark Zuckerburg CEO of Facebook
“We will continue to work to build a community for all people. We will do our part to defend against nation states attempting to spread misinformation and subvert elections. We’ll keep working to ensure the integrity of free and fair elections around the world, and to ensure our community is a platform for all ideas and force for good in democracy.”
Other internet firms besides Facebook are also facing rising scrutiny over how Russia may have leveraged their platforms. Twitter is expected to privately brief the Senate panel on Thursday.