(L-R) Vice President and General Counsel for Facebook Colin Stretch, General Counsel for Twitter Sean Edgett, and Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Google Kent Walker are sworn in during a hearing before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee  on November 1.

(L-R) Vice President and General Counsel for Facebook Colin Stretch, General Counsel for Twitter Sean Edgett, and Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Google Kent Walker are sworn in during a hearing before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee on November 1.

One year ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was a “pretty crazy idea” that the social network he created might have influenced the presidential election.

He’s since had a change of heart. And the idea doesn’t seem that crazy, considering the scope of Russian activity online around the election. As the New York Timesreports:

Russian agents intending to sow discord among American citizens disseminated inflammatory posts that reached 126 million users on Facebook, published more than 131,000 messages on Twitter and uploaded over 1,000 videos to Google’s YouTube service, according to copies of prepared remarks from the companies that were obtained by The New York Times.

And now representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter have been called before Congress to explain how their technology may have been misused (Zuckerberg himself has an earnings call to attend and won’t appear on Capitol Hill).

What answers did we get from tech giants, and will Congress try to find some way to protect Americans from their favorite social networks?

Guests

  • Joshua Benton Director, Nieman Journalism Lab; @jbenton
  • Cecilia Kang Technology reporter, The New York Times; @ceciliakang
  • Jonathan Taplin Director emeritus, University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab; author of “Move Fast and Break Things: How Google, Facebook and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy”; @JonathanTaplin
  • Ash Bhat Computer science student, UC Berkeley; co-founder RoBhat Labs; @theashbhat

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