MPs will fly to US to grill tech giants Google, Facebook and Twitter in fake news inquiry

 
Lynsey Barber
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MPs are seeking tech companies out on home turf (Source: Getty)

MPs investigating fake news have taken the unusual step of heading to the US to grill tech giants on home turf.

The group of influential MPs on the digital, culture, media and sport committee will hear evidence from top executive at Google, Facebook and Twitter in Washington DC in February next year at the British Embassy.

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

Facebook and Twitter were last week slammed by the chair of the committee Damian Collins for their "inadequate" response to requests for information.

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

Read more: MP slams Twitter boss's "inadequate" response to Russian Brexit questions

“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.”

Tech executives have already faced a grilling from US politicians in Washington as part of their own investigations into Russian use of social media during last year's Presidential elections.

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