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Facebook, Twitter defend efforts to stop election meddling

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey poses during

Facebook, Twitter and other technology firms have been on the defensive for many months over political influence activity on their sites as well as concerns over user privacy.

Sheryl Sandberg will tell the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that Facebook was "too slow to spot" Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and "too slow to act", according to an opening statement the Facebook chief operating officer released Tuesday. Instead, a spokesperson for the committee said they may just leave a chair empty next to Sandberg and Dorsey.

FILE PHOTO: Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board, attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017. "We fixed it", Dorsey said.

Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and Mark Meadows - were "shadow banned" this summer from Twitter when their names didn't automatically pop up when typing in the search box, they complained.

The company is getting better at finding and removing "inauthentic" content and now has more than 20,000 people working on safety and security, she said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been looking into reported Russian efforts to influence USA public opinion throughout Trump's presidency, after US intelligence agencies concluded that entities backed by the Kremlin had sought to boost his chances of winning the White House in 2016.

"We're shutting down fake accounts and reducing the spread of false news", Sandberg said.

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The other executive is chief legal officer and senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker. Mark Zuckerberg, the company's founder and CEO, faced tough questioning on the platform's internal practices when he testified before Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal. "The abuse of our platform to attempt state-sponsored manipulation of elections is a new challenge for us and one we are determined to meet".

Dorsey will follow the Senate hearing with another hearing that could be politically more contentious - an appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will specifically address Twitter's "algorithms and content moderation".

President Donald Trump has accused Silicon Valley companies of liberal bias and suppression of conservative voices.

"We believe strongly in being impartial, and we strive to enforce our rules impartially", Dorsey will tell lawmakers Wednesday, according to a copy of his prepared remarks released in advance.

Dorsey will testify later on Wednesday during a separate House hearing, while Sandberg will not.

"My view is personal data is now the weapon of choice for political influence campaigns and we must not make it easier for our adversaries to seize these weapons and use them against us", Wyden said while discussing ways Congress can assist in this issue.

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