At 10 AM Eastern today, the hearing “Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election” will take place. Dorsey and Zuckerberg will hear criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey will testify on the censorship of election-related content before Congress today. Three weeks ago, the giants’ executives already faced questions from US senators who worried about censorship and the spread of misinformation. Now, the post-election landscape is extremely tense. Therefore, Dorsey and Zuckerberg will retaliate against Congress’ grievances again.
In October, Senators questioned Facebook and Twitter CEOs over their content moderation policies. They raised concerns that the social media giants’ “sweeping immunity” encourages bad behavior. The lawmakers reviewed Section 230 — longstanding federal laws that spare social media sites from liability for the posts they leave or remove. Besides, they demanded more transparency and explanations on a few specific cases in which the platforms removed or labeled content. During the nearly four-hour session, Republicans accused Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Sundar Pichai of deliberate censor conservatives, including Donald Trump. The GOP lawmakers even provided evidence for their claims. In response, Facebook’s and Twitter’s executives pledged to protect their platforms from misinformation or incite violence around the election results.
After the election, the companies’ election rules are broken on an almost daily basis. In particular, Trump has been contesting the election loudly and repeatedly on Facebook and Twitter. His statements about the election process and outcome have received false or misleading labeleds.
Facebook has been labeling most of Trump’s posts since November 3 as well. However, some of the recent labels directly contradict statements Trump is making about the outcome. They read: “Joe Biden is the projected winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election”.
At 10 AM Eastern today, the hearing “Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election” will take place. Dorsey and Zuckerberg will hear criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. They will mainly focus on hate speech, misinformation, and other content that can provoke violence or spread falsehoods about the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Senators will blame the tech CEOs for failing to police content and playing a role in hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism in the U.S.
Senator Tammy Duckworth said:
“Social media is so pervasive in the daily lives of Americans and traditional media outlets that it can be weaponized to manipulate the public discourse and destabilize institutions.”
Biden spokesman Bill Russo stated:
“If you thought disinformation on Facebook was a problem during our election, just wait until you see how it is shredding the fabric of our democracy in the days after.”
Both companies will hear a lot about doing not enough to take down hate speech or fake news. It is also likely that Republican Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz will ask especially fiery questions.
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