It is becoming noticeable that Google and Facebook are no longer the darlings of either side of the aisle in Congress. Just as European governments have had enough, now our Congress is taking a special interest in how they are doing their business. If anyone has the ability to control the political narrative in our nation at this point, these high-tech giants could become the villains that the right has been clamoring about. Here is what they face in Congressional investigations now.
As Written Nancy Scola and Josh Meyer for POLITICO:
The investigations into Russia’s role in the 2016 election are threatening to pry the lid off tech companies’ most prized possessions: the secret inner workings of their online platforms.
As the probes unfold into social media’s role in spreading misinformation, U.S. lawmakers are beginning to show an interest in the mechanics of everything from how Facebook weights news items to how Google ranks search results. The questions, which echo European regulators’ interventionist approach to technology, are a stark change for Silicon Valley companies accustomed to deference from U.S. officials on how they run their operations.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, warned Sept. 24 about “the use of Facebook’s algorithms and the way it tends to potentially reinforce people’s informational bias.” He added, “This is a far broader issue than Russia, but one that we really need to know more about.”
A source close to the Senate Intelligence Committee said staff investigators are eager to learn whether Russian elements used Twitter to boost disinformation in Google’s search rankings. While Google has previously said it uses Twitter and Facebook links in calculating search rankings for content, it hasn’t revealed specifics on how social media mentions factor into its algorithm. Google is famously closemouthed about how its immensely valuable search engine works, only parceling out small clues over the years.
Critics of the tech industry say the time has come for……..
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