Big Tech’s big appearance in Washington this week was a big disappointment.
Congressional representatives have been investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in last year’s election. They called on Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify about what happened and what the companies are doing to prevent similar propaganda efforts in the future. Mostly it was a chance for the big tech companies to show they are taking the problem seriously.
But on just about every level, Big Tech failed. The companies sent their lawyers instead of their top brass, a pretty good indication of how much of a priority they’re making of this problem.
While the companies’ lawyers assured the members of Congress that their companies take this issue seriously and are taking steps to make sure it never happens again, we’ve heard similar talk before. Facebook, Google, and Twitter have routinely shown they can’t handle such challenges, and they gave little reason to think things would be different this time around.