Several Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee want to hear directly from the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google, following a frequently tense hearing with lawyers from the companies on Wednesday that they said offered few satisfying answers about Russia's use of their platforms to influence USA politics and how they'll prevent foreign interference in the future.
"We need to understand the behavior and we need to have the capacity both as a company and as an industry to be able to track it and eradicate it", the executive said.
Some have anxious that Facebook's revenue growth would slow, primarily because the company keeps saying its revenue growth is going to slow, but that just isn't happening in any meaningful way.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said her state's Republican governor, Paul LePage, was accused of being a white supremacist in posts on a Russian-linked Facebook account targeting African-Americans in August 2016. They included a "Heart of Texas" post pushing for the state to secede from the USA, as well as posts from a page called "United Muslims of America".
"This is another example of how people are lured in", said Sen.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., warned the California-based companies that they needed to be more aggressive at stopping secret foreign use of their technology - or Congress would step in.More news: Amit Shah accuses Congress of ignoring Sardar Patel's legacy
More news: Khloe Kardashian's recent post about boyfriend Tristan Thompson appears to confirm pregnancy
More news: Nonprofit Agency Ranks Indiana 23rd In Nation For Hospital Safety
Sen. Mark Warner, the committee's vice chairman, showed the illustration, shared by the Russia-affiliated "Army of Jesus", as evidence of how Russian actors used social networking posts and online ads to sow divisiveness and spread propaganda. Most of the geographically targeted ads ran in 2015, before the primaries were decided, he said.
"Like' if you want Jesus to win!"
Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel, said at one hearing that Facebook had more than 10,000 people working on safety and security and would have more than 20,000 people working on those efforts by the end of 2018.
The political ads also tried to lure in Christian worshippers.
"I'm dead serious about this, and the reason I'm talking about this on our earnings call is that I've directed our teams to invest so much in security - on top of the other investments we're making - that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward, and I wanted our investors to hear that directly from me". Though it might seem like this is a prioritization of security over profits, long-term Facebook must be a safe platform for legitimate discussion to maintain it's place atop the hill of social networks.
Lawmakers came down hard Wednesday on executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google for failing to stop peddlers of Russian propaganda from buying ads, sowing social unrest and spreading fake news on their sites. USA lawmakers have threatened tougher regulation and fired questions at Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch in hearings this week.