Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai appear at a hearing The House is organized by the Energy and Commerce Committee on how disintegration spreads across their platforms.
Democratic lawmakers accused the CEOs of allowing extremism to spread, to reflect their growing frustration about extremism, conspiracy theories and the spread of lies. riot In the capitol.
His comments marked the first hearing since President Biden’s inauguration of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. They were an indication that Silicon Valley’s business practices would not be investigated, and could even advance both in the White House with Democrats and in both chambers of Congress.
The January riots made the dissolution issue quite personal for many MPs. Some participants have been linked to online conspiracies such as QAnon, which platforms have tried to stem in recent months.
“We ran as a mob, which was the Capitol, the House floor, and our democratic process,” said Rep. Mike Doyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat. “This attack and movement that inspired it and nurtured it on your platforms.”
The lawmakers argued that the platforms also enabled misinformation about the coronavirus epidemic.
The growing frustration of MPs as they consider whether to tightly regulate platforms’ business models. Some have proposed modifying a legal shield that protects websites from lawsuits over content posted by their users, arguing that it allows companies to be negligent in flashing their products.
Representative Jan Schokowski, a Democrat representative from Illinois, said Thursday that officials should be taken away saying that “self-regulation has come to the end of its road.”
Republican lawmakers held hearings about the January 6 capital riots in Steeming, but their hostility to inciting violence led to former President Donald J. The focus was on decisions to ban right-wing figures, including Trump.
The decision to ban Mr. Trump, many of his colleagues and other conservatives, he said, amounted to liberal bias and censorship.
“We are all aware of Bigg Boss’ growing censorship of conservative voices and its commitment to serving a radical progressive agenda,” said ranking Republican Bob Latta of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee.
Following the capital riots, Mr. Trump and some of his top aides were banned temporarily or indefinitely on major social media sites.
The hearing is expected to echo Mr. Latta’s remarks by many Republicans. They say that platforms have become the gatekeepers of information, and they accuse companies of trying to suppress conservative views. The claims have been consistently denied by academics.
Mr. Latta referred to what is known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and whether large technology companies deserve regulatory protection.
Mr. Latta said, “Section 230 provides you with liability protection for content moderation decisions made in good faith.” But he said that companies, using their restrained powers, have censored approaches that companies disagree with. “I think that is highly concerning.”
The CEOs of Facebook, Alphabet and Twitter are expected to face tough questions from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Democrats have focused on devolution, especially in the wake of the capital riot. Republicans, meanwhile, have already questioned companies about their decision to remove conservative personalities and stories from their platforms.
New York Times reporters have covered a number of examples that may come to the fore. Here are the facts to know about them:
After his son was killed in Israel by a member of the terrorist group Hamas in 2016, Stuart Force decided that Facebook was partly to blame for the death, as the algorithm that empowered the social network allowed Hamas content Helped to spread. He joined relatives of other terrorist victims in suing the company, arguing that its algorithm regularly promoted crimes by encouraging posts that encourage terrorist attacks. Arguments about the power of algorithms have changed in Washington.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has helped Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and countless other Internet companies thrive. But Section 230’s liability protection also extends to fringe sites, anti-Semitic content and racist tropes known for hate speeches. Investigations of large technology companies in Washington have intensified on a range of issues, including how they handle disinformation or police hate speech, with Section 230 facing a new focus.
After delivering political discourse around the world, Facebook Trying to reduce the temperature. The social network began changing its algorithm to reduce political content in users’ news feeds. Facebook previewed the change earlier this year when Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said The company was experimenting with methods To end divisive political debate among users. “One of the top pieces of feedback that we are hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take their experience on our services,” he said.
As did Electoral College Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election confirmed, voter fraud misinformation halted. But pedestrians lying online lied about Kovid-19 vaccines. Researchers said Republicans in Georgia, as well as far-flung websites such as Zerohead, have begun to pursue false vaccine narratives. His efforts have been incorporated on the platform by a strong network of anti-vaccination activists such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Finally, two California billionaires tried politicians, prosecutors, and power brokers who had failed to do so for years: they pulled the plug on President Trump. Journalists and historians spent years unpacking the inappropriate nature of the sanctions, and investigated why they arrived as soon as Mr. Trump was losing his power, and Democrats were ready to take control of Congress and the White House. Sanctions over a free-speech debate that has been provoking over the years have also increased heat.
In the fall of 2017, when Congress made calls on Google, Facebook and Twitter to testify about their role in Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election, the companies did not send their chief executives – as did the lawmakers Had requested – and instead Called their lawyers To withstand the fire.
During the hearing, politicians complained that the General Counsel was answering questions about whether companies contributed to weakening the democratic process rather than “top people who are actually making decisions,” as Senator Angus King casts as a free man with Maine. .
It was clear that Capitol Hill wanted its CEO’s pound of flesh and hiding behind lawyers was not going to work for long. The initial concern about how the Silicon Valley chieftains will handle grilling is no longer a concern. after a Hearing sleep In recent years, both virtual and in-person, officers have practiced a lot.
Since 2018, Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive officer, has testified on three separate occasions. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, has recorded four appearances, and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has testified six times.
And when the three men interrogate again on Thursday, they will do so as veteran veterans in the art of ignoring the most experienced attacks so far and then redirect to their attention-to-talk points.
In general, Mr. Pichai politely disagrees and hurriedly lashes out at the MPs as quickly as possible – such as why Mr. Pichai was asked last year? Google steals content From honest businesses – but not harp on it. When a politician tries to pin him down on a particular issue, he often relies on a familiar delaying tactic: My employee will return to you.
Mr. Pichai is not a dynamic cult-like personality leader like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, but his reserved demeanor and honesty are well-suited to congressional headlines.
Mr. Zuckerberg has also become more comfortable hearing over time and the company is more empowered to deal with misinformation. On His first appearance in 2018, Mr. Zuckerberg contradicted and promised to do better to protect users’ data and fail to prevent Russian interference in elections.
Since then, he has pushed the message that Facebook is a platform for good, while cautiously completing the steps the company is taking to seal online disinfection.
As sessions during the epidemic have become virtual, Mr. Dorsey’s appearances, hinged on the laptop’s camera, take a more-on-zoom-on vibe than the softly lit backdrops for the heads of Google and Facebook.
Mr. Dorsey tends to remain very quiet – almost Zen-like – when pressed with aggressive questions and often engage in technical issues that rarely uncover any follow-up.