Tech companies to face congressional hearings on 2016 US election interference

Internet companies face growing pressure for failing to address the ways in which their platforms were used to spread misinformation during the 2016 elections. According to Facebook, 470 profiles connected to Russian agents purchased about 3,000 advertisements ahead of Election Day, which were viewed by approximately 10 million U.S. users. Russia’s interference through social media channels is being investigated by Robert Mueller, as well as the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House Intelligence Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. According to federal law, foreigners cannot purchase political ads, yet the automated purchasing systems of social media companies and the limited rules around ad disclosure make it difficult to enforce the law today. As a next step, Facebook and Twitter will face congressional hearings by the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee on 1 November.