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Twitter Still Mute Over Senate's Questions on 2016 Elections

Image: Twitter Still Mute Over Senate's Questions on 2016 Elections
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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 06:11 PM Current | Bio | Archive

When Twitter and Facebook executives appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year to answer questions about their social networks’ role in allowing "malfeasance" in the 2016 election, the world was watching.

During the hearings, the reps were grilled by the senators as to what they knew, when they knew it, and how they were making changes to stop "meddling" in the future. As they left, each company was given homework. They were to answer additional questions, and all agreed to do so.

Now Twitter has missed the deadline. CNN contacted the company to find out why — and a Twitter spokesperson said it was "working closely with the committee" to provide the answers. "We look forward to finalizing our responses soon . . . "

Other sources within the company said they were "not surprised" the social network missed the deadline, mainly because it doesn’t have the information required to answer the questions.

According to the source, unlike Facebook, which was able to detail how many people were duped and by whom, Twitter has not "internally admitted how bad of a problem it is . . . They need to talk about the problems so that everyone's aware of them and everyone can get on the same page of how to solve them . . . The reality is they don't know the total number because they don't have the data needed or systems needed to figure out what that number is."

So, at this point, it doesn’t look like "soon" will be any time — soon.

What happens now? What authority does the Senate committee have to drop the proverbial hammer on Twitter for noncompliance? That’s unclear at this point, and people, though some are willing to speculate, are not making specific predictions.

Meanwhile, Twitter continues to work to come back from a frustrating 2017, despite the fact that it is President Trump’s favored social media channel. In addition to the trouble with the government, the social media network had a disappointing business year. While much of the news media these days includes or involves tweets, especially from the president or celebrities, the network still doesn’t have the reach, popularity or profitability of Facebook.

Twitter did try to branch out, showing live sports in 2016. While the effort went somewhat well, their pioneering effort has been overshadowed by Amazon.com, which did live sports streaming better, both in style and in audience. That doesn’t mean Twitter isn’t relevant. It certainly is popular and profitable. But in a world going increasingly online, the company has to keep up to stay competitive.

This issue with the government is something Twitter doesn’t need hanging over its head.

Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent public relations Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.

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When Twitter and Facebook executives appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year to answer questions about their social networks’ role in allowing "malfeasance" in 2016, reps were grilled by senators. As they left, each company was given homework, to answer additional questions.
cnn, facebook, senate intelligence committee
516
2018-11-16
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 06:11 PM
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