Republicans attack Twitter, Facebook CEOs on moderating content

Big Tech CEOs from Facebook, Twitter and Google face lawmakers on controversy over moderating content on their platforms.

10/29/2020 4:14:00 AM

CEOs from Twitter, Facebook and Google faced a grilling from lawmakers about how they moderate content on their platforms amid concerns about censorship and misinformation in the run-up to the election.

Big Tech CEOs from Facebook, Twitter and Google face lawmakers on controversy over moderating content on their platforms.

Greg Nash/Pool/Getty ImagesCEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg appears on a monitor as he testifies remotely during a Senate hearing to discuss reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with big tech companies, on Capitol Hill, Oct. 28, 2020 in Washington.

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CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg appears on a monitor as he testifies remotely during a Senate hearing to discuss reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with big tech companies, on Capitol Hill, Oct. 28, 2020 in Washington.The law -- Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act -- shields tech companies from legal liability for content posted by third parties to their platforms.

"For too long, social media platforms have hidden behind Section 230 protections to censor content that deviates from their beliefs," said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Committee.

Republicans have for years decried the law as allowing the platforms to stifle conservative speech, something GOP senators emphasized at Wednesday's hearing."My concern is that these platforms have become powerful arbiters of what is true and what content users can access," Wicker said.

In his opening statement, Dorsey defended Twitter's moderation policy, and urged Congress to be careful in making modifications to the law."Removing Section 230 will remove speech from the internet," Dorsey said.Greg Nash/APTwitter CEO Jack Dorsey appears on a monitor as he testifies remotely during a Senate hearing to discuss reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with big tech companies, on Capitol Hill, Oct. 28, 2020 in Washington.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey appears on a monitor as he testifies remotely during a Senate hearing to discuss reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with big tech companies, on Capitol Hill, Oct. 28, 2020 in Washington.Zuckerberg signaled willingness to work with Congress in modifying laws and regulations, but also defended Facebook as a force for good. He said he does not believe tech companies should be independently making decisions about content moderation, but urged senators to modify regulations in a way that promotes"the spirit" of Section 230 - allowing companies to continue to thrive.

"Section 230 helped create the internet as we know it. It has helped new ideas get built and our companies to spread American values around the world," Zuckerberg said."We should maintain this advantage. But the internet has also evolved and I think that Congress should update the law to make sure it is working as intended."

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, accused the three witnesses of posing"the single greatest threat to free speech in America and the greatest threat we have to free and fair elections.""Who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear, and why do you persist in behaving as a Democratic super PAC?" Cruz demanded of Dorsey.

Dorsey pushed back, but conceding that Twitter"needs to earn more trust."When it was Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's turn to grill Dorsey he used that comment as an attack."I agree with that," Johnson, of Wisconsin, said."We don't trust you."

Throughout the hearing, Zuckerberg reiterated Facebook's commitment to protect the elections.He told Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., that he would commit to banning premature declarations of victory in the 2020 election on Facebook, and also said he would strike posts encouraging violence around the election.

President Donald Trump has targeted Section 230.In May, he signed an executive order aimed at curbing the protections the law allows social media companies after Twitter labeled two of his tweets with a fact-check label.MORE: Experts say Trump's order aimed at Twitter, other tech giants could prove toothless, face legal challenge

Both of those tweets claimed, without evidence, that voting by mail would lead to fraudulent election outcomes. Some states have been using a vote-by-mail system for years, and experts broadly say that there is no evidence that mail-in balloting leads to election fraud.

Whether Trump has the power to limit the reach of the law is unclear. Revisions to laws need to be made by Congress, giving Republicans additional ammunition for Wednesday's hearing.During the hearing, Trump post a tweet urging repeal the act be repealed.

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"So much has been learned in the last two weeks about how corrupt our Media is, and now Big Tech, maybe even worse. Repeal Section 230!" he wrote.Democrats also have expressed concern about the way social platforms have made use of the law.They've expressed concern that, left unregulated, the platforms have become homes to misinformation campaigns.

"Social media companies cannot be trusted to put patriotism over profit," Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois said as she expressed concerns about the use of the platforms by foreign adversaries.Democrats have stopped short of advocating for a full overhaul of the law and have instead advocated for more targeted revisions.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has been advocating for Section 230 reforms for years, but on Wednesday he admonished Republicans for staging the discussion as a political issue. Read more: ABC News »

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If you want to get rid of misinformation you'll need to shut down all the news media. They are trying to swing votes. Journalist= a person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast. I don't see opinionated. And then there are the news outlets censoring free speech and not reporting the news. CNN CNNPolitics MSNBC CBSNews NBCNews bobulinsky

In my Opinion; When I see that the Republicans call the three Major tech companies, it raise a red flag! 'Why? Because you have FB and Twitter, that let people express there thought and opinions. Now you have the Republicans that don't like this, because people speak the truth! I watched Ted Cruz grill Twitter CEO about removing content. Ted seemed really upset at what he deemed censorship. I'd like to see Ted and his fellow Retrumplicans get similarly upset when their chief executive trumpets his bald-faced lies to the American people.

TonyBobulinski It's called censorship NOT moderation Looka like FederalGovernment is beginning to censor socialmedia & infringe on its 1stAmendment rights. How far is the line being pushed? Though misinformation is a concern. Election2020 ChangeCanHappen They should grill ABC too. 𝐈 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝 $1000 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐠𝗼𝐭 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝗼𝐟𝐢𝐭 𝗼𝐟 $5000 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝗼𝐫 7𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬. 𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐚 𝐰𝗼𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 Knzorene 𝐢’𝗺 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐥 🙏 𝐢 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐥𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝗼𝗺𝗺𝐞𝐧𝐝 him Knzorene

They don’t moderate, they suppress anything that doesn’t Support the socialist agenda of the Democrats. It’s tragic that so few can manipulate so many with impunity. This election notwithstanding these rules must change. They are simply liberal activist. So the senate can’t do a covid deal, but it can do this?

Imo all political & politically related content should be banned. All medical related content should be banned. Social media platforms are not News Publications or accredited to be. Social media is not accredited to monitor medical advice therefore shouldn't allow it. TonyBobulinski ABC IT’S WAS A COMPLETE WASTE OF THIER TIME Even Ted would just Yell & not allow them to answer Both parties just Grand Standing as they ignore the crisis fund with 232,101 US DEATHS AS: 30 Million unemployed lose healthcare WITH RECORD: Bankruptcies, Foreclosures & Evictions

Imo. Facebook,Twitter & YouTube must be held to account. Their platforms lack of enforcement or willingness to police their own backyard has compromised confidence in our electoral process. They have the resources $$$ & ability but have shown little accountability Such a waste of tax dollars to figure out why they can’t be the corrupt GOP they want to be.

EVERYONE IS IN THE FAKE NEWS BUSINESS. ☹ B̶R̶A̶V̶E̶ ̶W̶E̶A̶T̶H̶E̶R̶ ̶C̶H̶A̶N̶N̶E̶L̶ ̶R̶E̶P̶O̶R̶T̶E̶R̶ ̶B̶A̶T̶T̶L̶E̶S̶ ̶H̶U̶R̶R̶I̶C̶A̶N̶E̶ ̶F̶O̶R̶C̶E̶ ̶W̶I̶N̶D̶S̶ ̶̶̶ Fake news. Something China would do. Prove me wrong. Facebook, Twitter and Google will not show you this interview. I don’t think old ass people who don’t know the back from the front of a laptop stumbling over their questions to CEOs about “why can’t Trump tweet misinformation about an upcoming election” counts as grilling

Where Republican lawmakers argue against perceived censorship, which would otherwise be exactly their cup of tea.

CEOs from Twitter, Facebook, Google face grilling on moderating contentSen. Brian Shatz criticizes hearing with tech CEOs with less than a week until the election, saying 'what you're seeing today is an attempt to bully the CEOs of private companies into carrying out a hit job on a presidential candidate.' The President and his Administration chose “NOT TO SLOW” the spread of coronavirus here in America “WASTING 8 MONTHS NOW” while other National Leaders have slow the spread and are safely reopen their countries. AS OF TODAY we are at 232,101 US DEATHS averaging OVER 800 per day! This guy is a stooge. What's unprecedented is censorship. Well, tech CEOs need to be put in place. It is not right for them to be the dictators on what content people can see. It is not right for them to censoring things that goes against their political affiliation. They are politically biased and shouldn't be interfering.

Mark Zuckerberg And Jack Dorsey Are Gonna Have A Rotten Day As They Testify Before The SenateThe Twitter and Facebook CEOs must defend their companies' actions and argue against regulation even as Republicans have argued fiercely for more rules on social media. Waste of time. They want to press this issue and not covid relief. They don’t care about anyone It's going to be sizzling. The last time Mark appeared before the US Congress, one could literally see how stressed he was and how sunken his eyes were too. Mark and Jack have some work to do I’m sure they’ll be fine

Watch the Senate Commerce Hearing With Tech CEOsWatch live coverage of the Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing with Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. There is suppose to be a new platform coming out giving users control of their Data & Content called Hyprr. UK/US owned & operated, They have a live beta now so we can setup our channels I'm expecting Lindsay Graham to be feisty considering the battle he's in for reelection. Needs to out on a good show.

Facebook, Google and Twitter CEOs set to defend their legal shield to CongressIn their written testimonies, the CEOs warn of the potential negative impacts of repealing key portions of Section 230. Remove their protections wow

Facebook, Twitter, Google CEOs will defend law protecting tech platforms before U.S. Senate panelThe chief executives of three large tech companies will defend a law protecting internet companies before a Senate panel on Wednesday - a topic that has split U.S. lawmakers on ways to hold Big Tech accountable for how they moderate content on their platforms. The law does not grant them selective censorship. No way Communist China seeks to control social media and the internet. oh wait....it's Trump and the GOP

Facebook, Google and Twitter CEOs testify in Congress over tech's legal shield — live updatesIn their written testimonies, the CEOs warn of the potential negative impacts of repealing key portions of Section 230. Props to Brian Schatz for calling out the GOP for their hypocrisy, bullying, sycophancy and this sham hearing. VoteBlue horrible BidenCrimeFamiily