Tech Companies Testify On Capitol Hill, Detail Russian Interference Efforts

October 31, 2017

Facebook, Twitter and Google testify Tuesday on Capitol Hill, and the companies are expected to tell senators that Russian interference efforts in the 2016 presidential election were broader than was originally thought.

Facebook, for example, plans to explain that as many as 126 million of its users may have seen content “that originated from the Russian operation.”

That’s according to the prepared remarks from Facebook’s general counsel, Colin Stretch, for Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. NPR acquired the remarks prior to the hearing.

Previously, Facebook had disclosed that 10 million users may have been exposed to ads purchased by Russian operatives. But the company has not previously discussed how many people saw Russia-linked interference content shared organically through the site.

Twitter is also going to be telling the subcommittee that it has uncovered 2,752 Russia-linked accounts and more than 36,000 bots, according to The Washington Post. The accounts tweeted 1.4 million times about the election last fall, according to testimony acquired by the Post.

The companies will be represented by their top lawyers, who will also be on Capitol Hill Wednesday, testifying before both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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