Twitter, Facebook to appear before Senate committee on Russian probe

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FILE - This July 16, 2013, file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Social media giant Facebook is expected to provide Congress on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, with more than 3,000 ads that ran around the time of the 2016 presidential election and are linked to a Russian ad agency. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -The social media giant Twitter has agreed to appear for a public hearing before one of the Senate committees probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

A person familiar with the interactions between Twitter and the Senate Intelligence committee says the company will participate in a Nov. 1 public hearing.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the committee’s work is confidential. The committee has been examining how fake accounts on Facebook and Twitter were used by Russians to promote propaganda and misinformation during the 2016 election.

Another social media mammoth, Facebook, has said it will also participate in the public hearing. The House intelligence committee also has invited Twitter to appear for a public hearing this month.

Facebook says it has accepted House and Senate intelligence committees’ invitations to testify at hearings on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Both panels have invited Facebook, Twitter and Google to testify as they investigate Russian efforts to push out divisive social media messages.

The House is expected to hold its hearing this month and the Senate next month. Facebook turned over more than 3,000 Russia-linked ads to both panels this week.

The company has said the ads focused on divisive social and political messages, including LGBT issues, immigration and gun rights and were seen by an estimated 10 million people before and after the election.

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