Congress is getting better at questioning social media executives

Heading into today’s tech hearings, conventional wisdom held that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg would sail through on the strength of her poise and command of the facts. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, making his first appearance before Congress, was expected to struggle. Google, which declined to send CEO Sundar Pichai (or Alphabet CEO Larry Page), and which would be represented on the dais by an empty chair, was expected to receive the worst of lawmakers’ scorn.

As the day began, before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the conventional wisdom appeared to hold. These two paragraphs from The New York Times’ formidable five-person live-blogging operation capture the dynamic:

Ms. Sandberg, who was born in Washington, and spent years…

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