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This is a crunch question for these companies - do they merely provide a platform for others, or do they bear some responsibility for the content they deliver.
They didn't answer this question directly, because to do so would be to open themselves open to civil liability for any defamations appearing on their platform.
Instead they answered specifically in the context of Russian interference in US elections because it "not only creates a bad user experience but distrust for the platform."
The same could be said for Trump - that he "creates not only a bad user experience but distrust for the platform of government..."
Understatement of the year, perhaps...
Index of Frank's Diaries
To summarize: The witnesses testified, each relies on paid human-int (employees), user complaints, and automated rules ("algorithms") in combination to identify, evaluate, or validate objectionable "user content". Note also SALGADO's responses and silences throughout the hearing as subtle counterfactual.
The headline topic "Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online" is pretext to secure far more ranging cooperation from these publishers to police "user content", eg. number of cell text message responses to a posted solicitation, and legal identity of "users", eg. "beneficial owner of a (shell) corporation". In generally, Democratic Party members were preoccupied with instances of suspected Russian "meddling and interference" such as false voter instructions; Republican Party members were skeptical of witnesses' claims in terms of operating capacities and technical expertise to avoid first amendment violations.
Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
Trying to appease Congress and fend off threats of government regulation, the rich tech companies displayed their eagerness to eradicate any Russian taint.
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