Sep 4, 2018

Big Tech's big week on Capitol Hill

Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is already in Washington, and will make stops on Capitol Hill today ahead of twin hearings tomorrow — first a duet with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg before the Senate Intelligence Committee, then solo for the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Why it matters: The testimonies come amid increasingly united outcry from Republicans over what they see as censorship of conservatism, as well as questions about hacking and foreign influence campaigns ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Key points Dorsey will make, per Twitter:

  • "Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on its service or how it enforces rules."
  • "Twitter analyzed House and Senate accounts for a sample 30 day period this summer. After controlling for external factors that Twitter does not control, such as the number of Tweets and the number of followers, there is no statistically significant difference between the number of times a Tweet by a Democrat is viewed versus a Tweet by a Republican."
  • "Their performance is the same because the Twitter platform itself does not take sides."

Key points Sandberg will make, per Facebook:

  • "We were too slow to act before. We take this seriously."
  • "We're doubling the number of people who work on security and safety issues overall to more than 20,000, including security experts, AI and machine learning engineers, and content reviewers."
  • "The people behind the threats we’ve identified in the past will keep getting better, trying out new playbooks, tactics, and techniques."
  • Since the 2016 election, Facebook has "1) worked more closely with law enforcement and election officials on these threats, as well as 2) increased our collaboration with other technology companies and 3) created new partnerships with outside organizations that are experts on these challenges."

Go deeper

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman hospitalized after fiery Daytona 500 crash

Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, crashes and flips during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Monday. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Racing driver Ryan Newman was hospitalized in a serious condition with non-life threatening injuries after his car crashed at the Daytona 500 on Monday, NASCAR said in a statement.

The big picture: The 42-year-old was leading the final lap of the race, won by Denny Hamlin, when his car flipped in the fiery crash. President Trump tweeted after the crash, "Praying for Ryan Newman, a great and brave @NASCARdriver!"

Go deeper: Trump takes presidential limousine for lap at Daytona 500

Bolton indicates more Ukraine details if book prevails WH "censorship"

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton on stage at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said during a talk at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina he hopes his new book is "not suppressed" by the White House, according to journalists present in the room.

This is an effort to write history and I did it the best I can. We'll have to see what comes out of the censorship."
Bolton's comments, per Bloomberg and the New York Times

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.