Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms

June 18, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled, “Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms,” at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. The hearing will examine how algorithmic decision-making and machine learning on internet platforms might be influencing the public. Witnesses will provide insight on ways technology companies use algorithms and machine learning to influence outcomes, and whether algorithm transparency or algorithm explanation are appropriate policy responses.


  • Mr. Tristan Harris, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Center for Humane Technology
  • Ms. Rashida Richardson, Director of Policy Research, AI Now Institute
  • Ms. Maggie Stanphill, Director, Google User Experience, Google, Inc.
  • Dr. Stephen Wolfram, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Wolfram Research

*Witness list subject to change

Hearing Details: 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
10:00 a.m. 
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet

This hearing will take place in the Hart Senate Office Building 216. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on