Tech stocks slumped after Congress grilled Sandberg, Dorsey, and an empty chair

Lawmakers grilled Facebook’s Sandberg and Twitter’s Dorsey about foreign interference in US social media -- but Google didn’t show up for its scolding.

Yesterday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testified at a Congressional meeting about foreign influence on American tech companies before an audience of trolls.

Lawmakers took the opportunity threaten increased regulation of tech companies — including conspicuously absent Google. In response, tech stocks slumped at the end of the trading day.

A circus with an empty chair at the center of the ring

As lawmakers grilled collar-poppin’ Dorsey and cool-cucumber Sandberg about their efforts to prevent foreign interference, provocateurs paraded around the margins of the room like human clickbait.

Infamous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones (who’s been removed from Facebook, Apple, and Google’s platforms) sat in the front row alongside other famous social media trolls, and agitators wearing shirts saying “FBI used toddler for SEX” roamed the back of the chamber.

Tech stocks slumped at the prospect of regulation

Despite the efforts of misinformation nation, lawmakers put Facebook and Twitter on defense and chided Google (represented passive-aggressively by an empty chair) for not taking the problem seriously.

After the meeting, the Justice Department scheduled a meeting later this month to determine whether tech companies are “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas.”

Yesterday afternoon, Twitter’s stock fell 6.1%, Facebook fell 2.3%, and Google fell 1%, pulling other tech stocks down with them (Netflix dropped 6.2%; Amazon, 2.2%; and Microsoft, 2.9%).

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