Why it matters: It's unlikely these companies face serious regulatory threats under the Trump administration, which has rolled back regulations and passed new laws that have favored tech and telecom companies. But they risk a narrative forming around whether they can be trusted to police themselves, and that could alter user confidence and thus affect their lucrative advertising businesses.
Where each company stands:
- Google, which invests a significant amount of dollars and resources into consumer marketing, seems to have the most stable consumer relationship heading into this week's hearings. And unlike Facebook, which does very little consumer marketing, the public has a less visible look into how fake news spreads on Google properties.
- Twitter's last testimony on Capitol Hill didn't exactly win over lawmakers. But its biggest problem is the proliferation of bot accounts on its platform. Earlier this year, a University of Southern California and Indiana University study found that up to 15% of active accounts on Twitter are bots.
- Facebook has made efforts to be more forthcoming about the Russia investigations, but their efforts to be transparent have been hyper-focused on lawmakers and influencers and the public's trust in Facebook is significantly less than Google. Not to mention, efforts to stomp out fake news are still stumbling, as Bloomberg's Sarah Frier reports.
The bottom line: Google stock reached an all-time high after stellar Q3 earnings last week. Twitter, which surpassed user growth and revenue expectations last quarter, said it may reach profitability next quarter for the first time since going public in 2013. Their businesses are doing fine despite the Russia hype.
(Survey Methodology: The data come from online surveys conducted by SurveyMonkey Oct. 23-26, among 3,787 adults, and has a modeled error margin of 3 percentage points. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.)
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