Overshadowed by the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, was another hearing being held on Capital Hill. That hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee was focused on foreign election interference via social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook.
Testifying on Wednesday was Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, according to The New York Times, both tech giant leaders said, “they are better prepared to combat foreign interference,” ahead of the mid-terms, and for future elections.
Sandberg told lawmakers that Facebook was simply “too slow to spot,” the interference in 2016’s Presidential Election.
Dorsey told lawmakers that Twitter was simply, “unprepared and ill-equipped,” for the “immensity of the problem.”
Both companies have stressed they are more prepared and will combat the problem more openly than before.
Shortly after the meeting was over Department of Justice spokesperson, Devin O’Malley, issued a statement that announced Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning on meeting with state attorneys in the coming month to determine if social media platforms, were “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas,” the New York Times reported, that O’Malley also said the tech companies, “may have harmed competition.”
O’Malley’s announcement aligns with President Trump’s Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow’s recent statement following President Trump’s Tweet’s that suggested Google, who was not represented at Wednesday’s hearing, might need “regulated,” as was reported @ The News Blender, Kudlow said the admin, was “looking into that.”
As a reminder, President Trump has routinely lamented the lack of government control over the media, and has often times threatened “media licenses,” as recently as Tuesday morning via tweet.
According to CNBC who has provided the full DOJ statement posted below, this announced meeting between the United States’, “top prosecutor,” and “state officials,” marks a “major signal that of potential antitrust action against Silicon Valley,” could happen in the near future.