Facebook, Google, and Twitter were called to testify in front of the United States Congress on the 2016 presidential elections and possible interference with the thereof on the part of Russian operatives, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing sources close to the committee tasked with investigating the allegations that Moscow meddled with the last presidential election in the U.S. using a variety of digital means. The formal request was supposedly made this week, possibly on Wednesday, with high-level officials from the three social media giants being asked to appear at a public hearing scheduled for November 1st.
Officials from the top legislative body in the U.S. previously said that the Congress is set to organize some hearings in order to gain a better understanding of the role Russia possibly played in the 2016 election but didn't elaborate on the matter, though Facebook, Google, and Twitter were all already expected to make an appearance in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee and share what they know about the controversy. Facebook recently turned over information on approximately 3,000 political ads bought by supposed Russian operatives during the last presidential race, with the company's co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg saying that the social media giant is seeking to cooperate with competent authorities and help them fully investigate previously surfaced allegations.
Facebook and Google later acknowledged that they were asked to testify before the Senate committee but didn't reveal whether they're planning to respond to the request and in what manner, whereas Twitter has yet to comment on the situation in any capacity, Reuters reports, with its insiders claiming that all three are expected to attend the public hearing in just over a month. President Trump repeatedly dismissed claims that Russia somehow helped him win the 2016 presidential race and took to Twitter yesterday to accuse Facebook of being biased against him and his supporters in cooperation with major news organizations, a notion that Mr. Zuckerberg himself dismissed later that day. The controversy previously led to some additional sanctions on Russia imposed by the U.S. under the former Obama administration which a number of Silicon Valley tech giants reportedly opposed through lobbying channels with some success.