Twitter is playing nice with the U.S. government. President Donald Trump’s favorite social network now has a meeting scheduled with the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
This move comes after Facebook met two weeks ago with House and Senate investigative staffers. Facebook representatives had briefed intelligence officials on their internal finding that Facebook accounts linked to Russia purchased at least $100,000 in ads during the election. Facebook also shared that finding in a public blog post.
So far, all meetings have happened behind closed doors and away from the press. That could soon change, as politicians have begun to loudly call for the big tech companies to talk publicly about what happened on their platforms during the election.
The intelligence committee, led by Democratic senator Mark Warner, has been calling for more transparency from Facebook and other tech companies.
Earlier this month, Warner told CNN that Facebook officials declined to provide the committee with any documents or really anything beyond what was also shared publicly about the Russia-linked ads. More information was later shared after special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller obtained a search warrant.
Now, Twitter is up. Sen. Warner has noted the potential influence of bots accounts on the site. “Just as the case with Facebook … I think the Russians actively used Twitter accounts,” he told Recode. “They don’t screen out as much anonymous or fake accounts, but I feel like it’s important to let them come in and make that presentation first.”
Twitter representatives will likely meet with lawmakers on Wednesday. Timing is TBD. The company had this to say about the formal affair:
“Twitter engages with governments around the world on public policy issues of importance and of interest to policymakers. We are cooperating with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in its inquiry into the 2016 election and will meet with committee staff next week,” a Twitter spokesperson wrote in an email.
The statement then got a little more inspiring:
“Twitter deeply respects the integrity of the election process, a cornerstone of all democracies, and will continue to strengthen our platform against bots and other forms of manipulation that violate our Terms of Service,” the spokesperson wrote.
Earlier this week, Twitter touted its efforts to weed out terrorism from the network. The company said it removed 299,649 accounts over the first six months of 2017 and that 75 percent of the accounts removed were suspended before they posted their first tweet.
Regardless of how Twitter moves forward in preventing the spread terrorism, abuse, and perhaps some Russia propaganda on the service, the company has agreed to reflect back on the 2016 election with officials. A company spokesperson did not make it clear what specifics would be shared with lawmakers.
More could be coming beyond Wednesday’s meeting. Facebook is being called to testify at a public hearing on the matter of Russia’s use of social media. That panel is being coordinated by Republican senator and committee chairman Richard Burr, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Off record, we haven’t been confirming it because we haven’t been confirming any of the details about who we talked to or what we shared. BUT Warner’s talked extensively about the fact we came in.