[Tencent Technology Editor's Note] On September 5, 2018, US Chief Operating Officer Sandberg and Twitter CEO Dorsey attended the hearing of the US Senate Intelligence Committee. At the hearing, they talked about preventing foreign forces from interfering with US elections, purifying the social networking environment, and protecting user privacy.
The background of this hearing:
Since the US mid-term elections in 2018 will only begin in two months, people are beginning to refocus on the measures taken by technology and social media companies to prevent foreign forces from spreading separatist rhetoric and manipulating the US political campaign. Facebook, Twitter, Google and Reddit have recently announced a series of measures to combat the promotion of foreign forces. In addition, there are reports that hackers are already trying to steal information about various political campaigns.
The people attending the hearing included:
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. They all plan to attend the testimony at the hearing. The Senate Intelligence Committee hopes that Google's parent company Alphabet CEO Larry Page or Google CEO Sundar Pichai will also testify in court. However, the company offered to have the Chief Legal Officer attend the hearing, but the committee did not agree to the proposal. Therefore, Google was absent from the hearing.
Although the subject of the hearing will be centered around foreign forces, the Senate Special Committee Intelligence Vice Chairman, Mark Warner, plans to cover a wider range of topics, including a viable policy approach to addressing technology privacy issues.
Written testimony before the hearing
Both Sandberg and Dorsey attended the hearing, and both of them published written testimony before the hearing.
Sandberg’s testimony focused on preventing intervention in the general election because the US mid-term election is about to begin. Previously, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attended a House hearing to talk about Russia's intervention in the 2016 US presidential election. Sandberg is expected to follow Zuckerberg’s testimony to further explore what measures Facebook will take to prevent foreign forces from interfering with the US election.
“ We have invested a lot of manpower and resources to ensure the safety of our community and ensure the safety of our services. The measures we took included the use of artificial intelligence to discover inferior content and identify where the perpetrators were. ” Sandberg wrote in his testimony, “We are closing all kinds of fake accounts and reducing the spread of fake news. We have introduced a new advertising transparency policy, adopted advertising content restrictions and asked political ad buyers to submit written requests. We are becoming more adept at predicting risks and examining our responsibilities from a broader perspective. We share information with local law enforcement agencies and peers to address these issues. ”
Dorsey’s testimony was after Sandberg. The Twitter CEO talked about the platform's efforts to clean up zombie accounts and reduce harassment.
“We believe that there are other guiding objectives that are at the core of our company. We must make sure that all sounds are heard. We must continue to improve our services so that everyone can participate safely in public conversations—— whether they are speaking loudly or listening quietly. We must ensure that people can trust the credibility of the interlocutor and its content. ” Dorsey wrote in his testimony.
“My testimony today will provide important information about our services, including: (1) our commitment to purify the Twitter environment; (2) algorithms that affect the experience of Twitter’s individual users; and (3) Twitter’s investigation of Russian interventions. The latest developments in the 2016 US elections; (4) various malicious acts recently discovered by Twitter. ”
Sandberg first commented
Sandberg stressed that when the Russian account used the Facebook platform to intervene in the US election in 2016, the social network's response was indeed too slow. Dorsey attended the testimony after Sandberg.
Dorsey tweeted while speaking
Dorsey said that Twitter was used to spread political slogans, and some "people with ulterior motives" also tried to "circumvent Twitter strikes". He is not at all proud of this.
In the opening remarks, he tweeted as he spoke.
“But we all have to think about the issue from a longer-term perspective and must consider what will happen in the coming decades. We have to ask these questions: ‘Twitter to encourage people to do what (or not), and why? & rsquo; The answers to these questions will have a revolutionary impact on how Twitter and the industry work. However, implementing these changes is not easy and cannot be done overnight. & rdquo; Jessie said.
Questioning session begins
What is a social network?
Member Richard Burr first asked. He asked Dorsey and Sandberg to explain what they think social media is and what it can do for the public.
Sandberg pointed out that Facebook's birthday foundation has raised more than $300 million in donations. Moreover, Facebook's security features allow users to reach friends and family in the event of a disaster.
Dorsey said he thinks Twitter is like a public square. “We need to ask a lot of basic questions we faced when we started the company 12 years ago. & rdquo; He said.
What can your company do?
“We believe we can create greater transparency. ” Dorsey said in response to Burr’s question, “We want to be a company that not only hosts open dialogues. ”
Sandberg replied, “We can continue to pursue perfection. ”
Social media and security
“Our security team is closely connected. ” Sandberg said.
“This is not something we want to compete with each other. ” Dorsey replied.
Member Mark Werner asked
He talked to Dorsey about Twitter's policy changes and pointed out that Twitter's new deal seems to have taken effect.
Then, Werner told Sandberg that he thought most users didn't know that their data was collected. “ Facebook users have the right to know if their information has been collected? & rdquo; He asked. Sandberg said the user has this right.
Werner asked Sandberg, is Facebook able to value the data and then explain the value of the data to the user? Sandberg said that Facebook is willing to work with the House to study this issue.
He asked: “Does Facebook have a moral or legal responsibility to remove violent posts?”
“ I am convinced that we have this responsibility. ” Sandberg said, "We are taking positive steps." Moreover, we can do more. ”
Member James Risch asked
“ Is the standard published? ” Rish asked.
Sandberg replied that Facebook published community standards and gave examples of them.
Dorsey said he has a team that deals with issues with policies and standards.
How does Twitter and Facebook treat non-US citizens?
“ We don't know exactly where an account is located. We can only speculate. ” Dorsey said. He pointed out that in this regard, law enforcement can help Twitter.
Sandberg said that Facebook does not allow non-US citizens to post political advertisements.
Dorsey said that Twitter is focused on researching user behavior. “We have been using machine learning techniques to identify these patterns of behavior. ” Dorsey said.
How does Facebook conduct micro-marketing?
“ Discriminatory ads have no place on Facebook. ” Sandberg said.
The committee asked her to elaborate on the way the Facebook platform is micro-marketing. She did not give a timetable, but she said that Facebook will submit a detailed written report to the committee as soon as possible.
Congressman Marco Rubio yells at Google
“This may be because they are too arrogant. & rdquo; Rubio said when Google talked about the absence of things.
Rubio tortures Twitter and Facebook
Rubio wants to know how the two companies deal with other governments.
He also specifically asked Twitter to ban journalists in Turkey. However, Dorsey circumvented this problem. He said that Twitter has policies that allow users to be blocked in certain countries, not the world. He pointed out that as far as Turkish journalists are concerned, they can still push on Twitter on other parts of the world. However, these tweets will not be seen in Turkey.
Member of Parliament Martin Heinrich asks what lessons learned from Twitter and Facebook
“We understand the general elections around the world. ” Dorsey replied. He once again mentioned machine learning technology and Twitter's investment in artificial intelligence.
Heinrich asked Facebook how to define hate speech and false information
“ For false information, we will send it to a third-party fact-checking agency for review. ” Sandberg replied. She also said that Facebook believes that it should not be responsible for determining what is true and what is false.
Member Kamala Harris asks
Harris questioned Sandberg about many of Facebook's problems. She asked Facebook how much money she made on fake ads. Sandberg pointed out that Facebook could not calculate this number.
How to educate users?
“We are planning a media literacy program. ” Sandberg pointed out.
“Frankly, we have not done well enough in this regard. ” Dorsey admits, "There are so many journalists using our platform every day, which really benefits us." & rdquo; He also said that these reporters revealed problems with our platform.
Member James Lankford asks
He asked, will the information posted on the suspended account be archived? Dorsey replied that he would report to Frankford on this issue. Sandberg said that Facebook stores this information.
Member Joan Manchin asked about the sale of drugs on social media platforms.
When it comes to how users sell drugs on social media platforms, how much responsibility should social media companies take?
Sandberg paused for a long time before answering.
Dorsey replied, “Our platform prohibits the sale of drugs. & rdquo; He said that Twitter plans to explore better ways to combat drug trafficking on its platform.
Manchin also raised these questions: Should we introduce laws to make these social media companies responsible for the drug trafficking of their users? Can legislation change the way these companies deal with drug trafficking on their platforms?
Dorsey attended the House of Representatives to testify.
Dorsey's opening remarks
Once again, Dorsey tweeted while speaking.
“Twitter's machine learning team is experimenting with ways to ensure that current and future machine learning models maintain a high standard of algorithmic fairness. This is an important step in ensuring fairness. ”
& ldquo; And, we still need to clarify. When people pay attention to you, this means that you have won the audience. We are responsible for ensuring that they see your tweets. However, we have no responsibility, and you have no right to ask for your tweets to be sent to those who do not pay attention to you. ”
“I believe that we need to take more steps to protect individual users than public figures. ” Dorsey said, & ldquo; We believe that our actions need to increase transparency. ”
Congressman Fred Upton questioned Twitter’s policy
Dorsey said that Twitter will continue to improve its policies.
“We need to make our policies more intimate. ” Dorsey said when talking about Twitter's terms of service.
Can Twitter be more friendly to female users?
Congressman Diana DeGette quoted Amnesty International's report "Toxic Twitter." The report reveals how dangerous the Twitter platform is to female users.
Dorsey replied that Twitter is trying to aggregate statistics such as harassment and make it public.
He said that Twitter is still trying to adopt various modern means to prevent abuse.
“Privacy is a basic human right”
Dorsey said that they test 8 million to 10 million accounts per week to check if they are real accounts.
He also said that Twitter is studying ways to speed things up and shorten the time interval between users reporting tweets and Twitter deleting tweets.
Member of Parliament Leonard Lance asks for a timetable
Lance wants to know when Twitter will launch more effective measures to eliminate harassment and abuse on the platform. Dorsey said that he has not yet set a timetable.