By Emma Hinchliffe
September 4, 2018

Sheryl Sandberg will tell the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that Facebook was “too slow to spot” Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and “too slow to act,” according to an opening statement the Facebook chief operating officer released Tuesday.

Sandberg is scheduled to appear before the lawmakers as a representative of Facebook alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Wednesday morning. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified to Congress about Facebook’s role in the 2016 election in April.

“This interference was completely unacceptable. It violated the values of our company and of the country we love,” Sandberg said in her written statement, which Facebook shared with Fortune. “The actions we’ve taken in response — beginning with the steps Facebook’s General Counsel, Colin Stretch, outlined to this Committee last year — show our determination to do everything we can to stop this kind of interference from happening.”

Zuckerberg has tasked Sandberg with identifying and preventing future crises on the Facebook platform, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

This will be the first time Sandberg has publicly faced significant questioning about Facebook’s role in the 2016 election.

In the statement, a shorter version of which Sandberg will read Wednesday, Sandberg outlines steps Facebook is taking to prevent future foreign meddling in elections through its platform. She is planning to tell the Senate committee that Facebook is removing fake accounts and pages, employing fact-checkers to stop the spread of inaccurate information, and more prominently disclosing which organization has paid for an advertisement that a Facebook user sees.

Sandberg also plans to highlight the ways Facebook can be a force for political good by connecting constituents with information about registering to vote and about political candidates. She will also emphasize the ways the tech giant plans to cooperate with governments worldwide to identify and stop threats.

“This is an arms race, and that means we need to be ever more vigilant,” Sandberg wrote. “As [Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)] has noted, ‘Nothing less than the integrity of our democratic institutions, processes and ideals is at stake.’ We agree, and we are determined to meet this challenge.”

Read Sandberg’s full written statement below:

Sheryl Sandberg testimony to Senate Intelligence Committee by Fortune on Scribd

 

 

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