Social Media CEOs Face Senate Panel

Under question is their monitoring and censorship.

The chief executives of Facebook, Twitter and Google, the largest social media companies, came before the Senate Commerce Committee in a hearing examining their role in shaping political discourse.

Testimony was delayed a bit after Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg experienced “technical difficulties” in getting set up for the virtual exchange.

Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the committee chairman, opened the hearing by alleging that the companies have censored conservative views, a charge the executives dispute. Senator Wicker pointed out the unintended consequences of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Act, a law that gives online companies broad immunity from legal liability for user-generated content and wide latitude to control what does or doesn’t appear on their platforms.

He said the liability shield has protected the large tech companies from “potentially ruinous lawsuits. But it has also given these internet platforms the ability to control, stifle, and even censor content in whatever manner meets their respective standards.” The senator added, “The time has come for that free pass to end.”

Senator Ted Cruz later said that the three big companies represented “the single greatest threat to free speech in America,” calling out Twitter as the “most egregious.”

The leaders of the “Big Tech” companies defended their activities. The three are scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on November 17 over the same issues.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the protection of free speech across all parts of society in America.
  • For the members of Congress who will give consideration to amending Section 230 of the Communications Act.
  • For lawmakers as they seek to prevent the infringement upon citizens’ rights in fast-evolving technology.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, The Hill


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