Mr. Face books to Washington [The Interface]

The first big hearing of the week played more as political theater than the first step toward a massi

The Interface

October 31 · Issue #17 · View online
An evening newsletter about Facebook, social networks, and democracy.

The first big hearing of the week played more as political theater than the first step toward a massive new regulatory regime for Facebook et al to contend with.
A bipartisan group of Senators grilled tech companies today about how Russians used their platforms to interfere in the 2016 election, calling on them to better monitor abuse in the future. A subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary committee challenged top lawyers from Facebook, Google, and Twitter on the potential use of shell companies to hide advertiser identities, the malicious use of bot networks, and the limited capabilities of existing ad review policies. But despite the bipartisan appeal of criticizing the tech companies in public, it’s not clear what, if anything, will come of the critiques.
Facebook took the brunt of the criticism from senators … and still emerged basically totally unscathed. Maybe senators on the intelligence committees will draw blood tomorrow. But given how closely Facebook’s Colin Stretch and his counterparts at Google and Twitter stuck to the script, I’m not expecting them to.
I am, however, expecting to wake up very early here on the West Coast to watch day two. Both of Wednesday’s hearings will be streamed by C-SPAN. The first one, at 9:30AM ET, is the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (Chairman Richard M. Burr, R-N.C.) which will be streamed here.
The second one, at 2PM ET, is the House Select Intelligence Committee (Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.), which will be streamed here
And now for some links:

Tech Executives Testify in Senate Hearing on Russian Election Activity
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Opening Remarks
Social Media Platforms Make Their Liabilities Clear In First Russia Hearing
Facebook has a big Russia problem, but its stock price and business are going to be just fine - Recode
Facebook's Russian Ad Scandal Hasn't Fazed Advertisers
André Staltz - The Web began dying in 2014, here's how
Mark Warner: Tech Millionaire Who Became Tech’s Critic in Congress
Max Fisher on Twitter
The Most Important Questions Congress Needs to Ask This Week
And finally ...
Could Twitter take a page from Something Awful?
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Carefully curated by Casey Newton with Revue.
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