The US congress is expected to query the representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google over what effort they are undertaking to limit foreign influence into the American politics; a clear reference to allegations which raised their head during the final phases of the 2016 Congress and Presidential elections which brought Donald Trump to power in November 2016. Since then there has been constant simmering over what the senior US government officials, politicians and technology experts say as Russian interference in influencing the results of the American electoral process in 2016.
The Facebook being the center of the storm, its representative in her written statement said that the social media portal was taking every step it can to stop the spread of what she called “unauthentic” news content from its walls. The probe into the social media has been going one for over a year. Last year FB CEO was asked to answer questions in a similar hearing at Senate in the backdrop of Russian interference in the US lections.
The Twitter representative also maintained that the company business choices were in no way influenced by remote political considerations. It is pertinent to note here that the Republican Trump administration has already accused Twitter of what it feels limiting Republican exposure through their respective Twitter handles.
Last and not the least popular search engine Google too has been dragged into the controversy of influencing the political decision making at the voting level. The Senate and the Congressional hearing stem from the skepticism generated by the intelligence agencies that social media had a role to play in the outcome of the presidential elections in the United States. Though the question mark on social media influence on politics has been unique in the American political culture, it has opened door for these social media portals to self-assessment; visible in the similar preemptive initiatives taken in the back drop of globally less influencing electoral exercises like the Pakistani general elections.