Social media companies questioned during US Senate hearing on extremist content and propaganda

Internet companies were questioned in the US Senate’s Commerce, Science and Technology Committee on their role in hosting extremist content on their platforms and their efforts to shut down terrorist and hate groups propaganda. While social media firms’ representatives argued that they are doing more than ever to find and block offensive and dangerous content, including through algorithms and artificial intelligence, US lawmakers urged for more effective efforts, especially to prevent manipulation on platforms in undermining the pillars of democracy. This included the role of social media platforms in the alleged Russian meddling during the US presidential election of 2016. According to Senator Ben Nelson, ‘These platforms have created a new and stunningly effective way for nefarious actors to attack and to harm’, adding that efforts by social media giants are currently ‘not enough’.