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Top Facebook lawyer to testify before Congress in Russia probe

Top Facebook lawyer to testify before Congress in Russia probe
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Facebook’s general counsel, Colin Stretch, will testify before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees during hearings examining how Russians may have used social media companies to interfere in the 2016 election, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed.

Twitter has confirmed that it will also send a representative to the Senate hearing. Google has also been invited, but has not commented on if it will send representatives to either hearing.

Lawmakers have said that they expect attendance from all three companies at the hearings, scheduled for Nov. 1.

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The latest development comes one week after Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg traveled to Washington, D.C.  She met with lawmakers in an attempt to repair the company’s reputation, which has taken a beating following revelations that Russian actors purchased $100,000 in political ads on its platform.

Facebook has since introduced new policies and said that it would hire extra staff to help monitor foreign actors seeking to influence elections on its platform.

The company has already turned over 3,000 ads purchased by Kremlin-linked parties around the time of the election. The House Intelligence Committee has said that it will release the ads to the public next month.

Sandberg told lawmakers last week that Facebook would also release “organic” messages posted by users to lawmakers.

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees' top Democrats, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Intel heads to resume threats hearing scrapped under Trump | New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy | Amazon backs corporate tax hike to pay for infrastructure Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden tasks Harris on border; news conference today MORE (Calif.) and Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerA bold fix for US international taxation of corporations Democrats offer competing tax ideas on Biden infrastructure Five ways an obscure Senate ruling could change Washington MORE (Va.), respectively, have said that they plan to use the hearings to get the companies to provide more detailed answers regarding election interference on their platforms than they've previously provided.