Facebook's efforts to combat misinformation are working and the company is now much better-equipped for curbing such malicious attempts at abusing its platforms compared to a few years ago, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing held earlier today. Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey made similar remarks in regards to his company's own endeavors meant to fight public manipulation attempts as part of the same hearing.
Both Facebook and Twitter are presently investigating a number of possible examples of coordinated misinformation campaigns and have already banned numerous bad actors engaging in such activity, the officials said, recalling some of their recent disclosures pertaining to platform abuse attempts originating from Russia and Iran. Google and its subsidiaries are believed to have been pushing back against the same actors but Alphabet's subsidiary had no representatives at today's hearing, with CEO Sundar Pichai declining the Senate's invitation after Alphabet CEO Larry Page did the same. Google did offer to send one of its SVPs to the hearing but the Senate refused that suggestion, deeming the matter at hand to important for someone without ultimate authority to address.
In the run-up to the hearing, U.S. President Donald Trump accused social media giants of interfering in the 2016 presidential elections themselves. While he didn't substantiate those accusations with anything, the head of the state suggested the Silicon Valley is the party that should be targeted by the ongoing foreign meddling probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Despite the fact that both Facebook and Twitter believe they've made significant progress in their fight against fake news and other forms of online misinformation, both acknowledged there's still more work to be done, maintaining the issue at hand isn't likely to ever go away completely. Both executives also used today's hearing as yet another opportunity to dismiss all allegations that they're letting political biases affect their policy and moderation decisions.