“We aren’t proud of how that free and open exchange has been weaponised and used to distract and divide people, and our nation,” said Dorsey. “We found ourselves unprepared and ill-equipped for the immensity of the problems we’ve acknowledged.”

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“We’ve learned from 2016 and more recently from other nation’s elections how to help protect the integrity of our elections,” Dorsey added. “But we all have to think a lot bigger, and decades past today. We must ask the question ‘what is Twitter incentivizing people to do (or not do), and why?’ The answers will lead to tectonic shifts in how Twitter, and our industry, operates. Required changes won’t be fast or easy.”

Search engine company Google was also invited to attend the hearing as well, but declined to send its chief executives to attend. Instead, in a written statement, Google chief legal officer Kent Walker promised to maintain efforts to prevent anyt foreign interference in forthcoming U.S. elections.

“Google remains deeply concerned about attempts to undermine democratic elections,” said Walker. “As we promised the committee last year, we have now fulfilled all four of our commitments to provide increased transparency in election advertising.”

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