Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg appeared in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee last Wednesday with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in the latest hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The leaders of the two largest social media companies in America testified about their process in determining which accounts are real, and which are potentially dangerous to mechanisms such as the American electoral system.
While Dorsey apologized, saying they were not prepared for the wave of troll armies, Sandberg stood defiant, saying, “We are more determined than our opponents, and we will keep fighting.”
Sandberg also updated Congress on Facebook’s progress on stopping fraudulent pages from surfacing and said they are working with other entities to stop the further spread of misinformation.
"We cannot stop interference by ourselves. We're working with outside experts, industry partners and governments, including law enforcement, to share information about threats and prevent abuse," says Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in her opening statement to Congress. pic.twitter.com/ljukGzFmrY
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 5, 2018
There was one key moment when Sandberg told the committee, “Our focus [when looking for foreign accounts] is inauthenticity.” Matt Binder, a reporter for Mashable made an important point on Sandberg’s statement.
“When asked to approximate just how many Facebook accounts are ‘inauthentic,’ Sandberg replied between 3 and 4 percent. At Facebook’s reported 2.23 billion active users, that would mean somewhere between 66,900,000 and 89,200,000 are inauthentic.”
That staggering number may have some users of the site concerned over viewing their content. However,
Both Dorsey and Sandberg were also grilled by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on hate speech on their respective platforms. While both apologized and claimed to be on top of this issue, just this weekend, bots attacked users yet again.
.@sherylsandberg Dear Sheryl, I' a Facebook user for over 10 years; I am a moderate politically. I have a death threat on Facebook on Rosh Hashanah and had zero way of reporting the 150 Bots that came after me – I need to have a personal convo w/ someone. Who is monitoring this?
— Lisa Benson (@QEPLisaSpeaks) September 10, 2018