Congress kicks off a series of hearings with tech giants

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Congress kicked off a series of hearings with U.S. tech giants on Tuesday.

Officials from Facebook, Twitter and Google testified to congress on alleged Russian meddling during the 2016  elections.

“You’ve been rich to America,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said. “We have more information available to us because of what you do. “These technologies can also be used to undermine our democracy and put our nation at risk, and I think this is the national security challenge of the 21st century.”

This comes after Facebook revealed it found thousands of fake accounts linked to Russian trolls, which they say could have reached millions of Americans.

The fake accounts were allegedly used to create divisive ads, manipulate users and even call for violence against different social and political groups.

“When it comes to the 2016 election, I want to be clear. We take what happened on Facebook very seriously. The foreign interference we saw is reprehensible,” general counsel for Facebook, Colin Stretch said. “Going forward, we’re making significant investments. We’re hiring more ad reviewers, putting in place tighter ad content restrictions and requiring more information from ad buyers.”

Twitter and Google officials also disclosed evidence of Russian linked activity on their sites.

“We did find automated and coordinated activity of interest,” said Twitter’s counsel, Sean Edgett. “Our first priority was to do all we could to block and remove malicious  activity from interfering with our users experiences.”

Another topic  discussed on Capital Hill was extremist content on social media.

“We have thousands of people who as part of their job on a regular basis are attempting to keep terrorism off off Facebook,” said Colin Stretch.

So what’s the point in the two days worth of hearings?

They could result in new regulations and laws to combat crime, terrorism and foreign interference on the internet.

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