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Senate lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election have asked Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify at a November 1 hearing, a source familiar with the matter told Recode on Wednesday.
The inquiry — to be held by the Senate Intelligence Committee — could subject the three tech giants and their executives to uncomfortable questions about the extent to which Kremlin-backed forces may have used their platforms to spread misinformation, and what those companies might have done differently to stop it.
A spokesman for Facebook confirmed the company had received the invite. Spokespeople for Google and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
Lawmakers have agonized for a hearing particularly in light of reports that Russian forces purchased 3,000 ads, totaling $100,000, in the months before the 2016 election. Some of those ads sought to provoke racial, religious and social tensions in the United States, according to sources who have reviewed them.
So far, Facebook has briefed the committee and its House counterpart on the matter, and Twitter is set to visit Capitol Hill on Thursday to answer lawmakers’ questions. Google briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this year.