Facebook, Twitter, Google to testify before Congress
The Senate Intelligence Committee has invited Facebook (FB) chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey, and Alphabet (GOOGL) CEO Larry Page to testify before Congress. Though Alphabet’s Google had previously announced that it would send its chief legal officer, Kent Walker, for testimony, the committee rejected Google’s representative, as it didn’t consider him appropriate for the testimony hearing on September 5.
Why was Google’s Walker rejected?
According to the committee, Google’s Kent Walker does not hold a position as high as Facebook’s and Twitter’s officers. Facebook and Twitter had sent their COO and CEO, respectively, to testify before Congress. Facebook, Google, and Twitter were to testify on Russia’s interference in US elections and misusing the social media platform by spreading fake news and abusive content.
Walker’s prepared testimony included disclosures related to election advertising. Google had promised in the fall of 2017 to list databases related to election ads on Google search, YouTube, and across the web, as well as a verification program and disclosures on political ads.
Google CEO facing criticism
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai is facing a lot of criticism from senators for not representing the company during the September 5 testimony. However, Google has defended itself by stating that Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Google CEO Sundar Pichai would not have been the best representatives, as Walker, the senior vice president for global affairs, has been overseeing foreign policy, legal, trust, and safety issues.
President Donald Trump has also reportedly criticized Google’s search engine, stating that dominant Internet search provider Google promotes only anti-Trump search results and does not show pro-Trump news. The company, however, responded that the company’s search is not biased toward any political ideology.