UK MPs fly to US to grill tech giants over fake news

UK Washington

UK MPs have flown to Washington to grill technology giants over the issue of fake news as part of an investigation into potential meddling in the run up to the Brexit referendum.

Bosses at firms including Facebook, Google and Twitter reportedly offered to fly executives to London for the inquiry but the offer, sources claim, was turned down by the UK.

Instead, members of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee flew out yesterday (Tuesday) to probe tech executives over the propagation of misinformation on their platforms. 

According to Buzzfeed, 11 MPs left for Washington as part of what will be the first live public Parliamentary hearing to be held outside of UK shores.

During the trip, MPs are also expected to meet with senior senators looking into Russia’s potential interference in the 2016 US election won by Donald Trump.

The news comes after Facebook provided the contents of several thousand adverts bought by a Russian-owned agency to a US committee in September last year.

Damian Collins, the committee’s chairman, denied the technology companies had offered to fly their executives to London in an attempt  to save UK taxpayer’s money.

According to the Evening Standard, he said: “We didn’t have an offer from the tech companies to fly their people out to London to give evidence.

“In fact when we first discussed this inquiry with them they all agreed that it would be easier to get people to come and give evidence if we held a session in America.

“And what we particularly wanted was global policy leads on these issues giving evidence, not what always happens when these companies appear in front of the House of Commons committees, which is you basically get their London PR people giving evidence rather than people who are actually responsible for global policy or running bits of the business,” Collins concluded.