Protests Have Not Been Tainted By Foreign Actors
Executives at Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. attended the Thursday House hearing on foreign influence operations in the presidential elections. Both companies have denied seeing evidence that foreign governments are involved in contents or accounts related to Black Lives Matter protests, reported by The Wall Street Journal.
“We have not seen foreign actors engage in coordinated inauthentic behavior around the protests yet,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Facebook, said. Gleicher said if security teams at Facebook found such disruptive activity, the company would have reported it publicly if it were found.
Twitter’s director of public policy strategy Nick Pickles also said that the platform hasn’t noticed “concerted foreign efforts” around the protests or the mail-in voting, which President Donald Trump claimed to cause fraud in the presidential election.
Republicans chose to be absent at the Thursday hearing to show objection against Democrats holding remote hearings during the pandemic.
The Democrats present at the hearing criticized the social media giants for doing too little to moderate disinformation and hate speech on their platforms even after they acknowledged the Russian influence on their social media platforms. The companies responded by referring to new policies and investigations since 2016 that target social media disinformation. The tech giants also promised to cooperate with the federal agencies during the lead-up to the November election.
Facebook received the most vehement attacks from the Democratic lawmakers, as the company resisted pledges from employees and activists to remove Trump’s posts about the antiracism protests. However, Facebook said on Thursday that it has removed campaign posts and ads for Trump’s reelection due to violation of its policy against “organized hate.”