MPs Set to Fly to the US to Grill Tech Giants in Fake News Inquiry


MPs that are investigating regarding fake news have taken the extraordinary step of heading to the United States in order to grill tech giants on home turf.

The group of influential MPs that are members of the digital, culture, media and sports committee will listen to evidence from top executives at Facebook, Twitter, and Google in Washington DC that is scheduled in February 2018 at the British Embassy.

Richard Gringras, the Google News vice-president, and Juniper Downs, the YouTube global head of public policy are already lined up, while Twitter and Facebook are set to confirm who will give their evidence in the new year.

Last week, Twitter and Facebook were slammed by Damian Collins, the chair of the committee, for their “inadequate” response to their requests for information.

“Taking evidence in the United States will allow us to hear from senior executives at Facebook, Twitter and Google,” Collins said of the decision to head to the US.

“It is essential that each of these companies takes the spread of disinformation on their platforms seriously and I look forward to hearing from them about what their respective companies are doing to tackle this problem.

“Travelling to the US also provides us with the opportunity to meet with relevant individuals and organisations who are conducting work that will aid the Committee in its inquiry. I am pleased that Google have confirmed the witnesses that they will be sending, and I look forward to hearing from Facebook and Twitter regarding their witnesses shortly.”

Various tech executives have already experienced a grilling from US politicians in Washington as a part of their own investigations regarding the Russian use of social media during the Presidential elections of last year.