WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 28: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears on a monitor as he testifies … [+]
On Tuesday at 10 a.m.CET, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will appear before a Senate hearing to again answer questions about how they moderate content on their websites.
Both parties agree that big tech needs to be regulated, but while Republicans are focusing on anti-conservative prejudice when moderating content – an accusation that has been refuted multiple times by researchers investigating and the companies themselves – Democrats are trying to engage with platforms that take more responsibility for misinformation and disinformation that can cause damage to screens, especially when it comes to coronavirus or electoral integrity.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were called up just six days before the U.S. presidential election to testify on Section 230 at another Senate Trade Committee hearing. Most of the time the Democrats called it partisan bogus at the hearing, an attempt by Republicans to get CEOs to obey the presidential commandments.
Tuesday’s hearing, worryingly dubbed “Breaking the News: Censorship, Oppression, and the 2020 Election,” is the result of subpoenas approved by Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee in October calling on CEOs to discuss the measures of their platforms to testify to reduce the reach of a New York Post article making unsubstantiated allegations about the son of President-elect Joe Biden.
“The timing of the judicial committee hearing – President Trump refusing to acknowledge his defeat in the recent election – couldn’t be more flashy,” Paul Barrett, assistant director of NYU’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, said in an email. “Trump and his GOP allies in Congress have decided that beating the social media platforms as” anti-conservative “fits their base well. So here we are again with another hearing that will likely translate into a verbal raid on the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter. It’s a shame because there are real problems related to social media, including the failure of the platforms to adequately handle dis- and misinformation. “
Even so, the show will go on. Here’s what you need to know:
Today, Tuesday, November 17, 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT.
You can watch the livestream on the committee’s website.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close ally of the President, chairs the committee. Ted Cruz from Texas and Josh Hawley from Missouri will likely continue to bring the heat and likely increased volume over Twitter’s limit on the distribution of the New York Post article. Cruz said to Dorsey, “Who the hell chose you and made you responsible for what the media can report and what the American people can hear?”
On the Democratic side, Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota will be there asking tough questions about moderating misinformation.
This article has been updated to reflect new information that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will no longer be present.