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Friday, October 23, 2020

Twitter, Facebook to send CEOs to Senate hearing on Section 230

A Senate panel voted to subpoena the heads of Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google for an Oct. 28 session focusing on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a provision that protects the companies from lawsuits over user-generated content.

By: Bloomberg | October 4, 2020 10:39:35 am
Mark Zuckerberg testimony, Facebook data leak, Zuckerberg Congressoinal hearing, Cambridge Analytica, Facebook user data, political ads, 2016 US elections, data privacy, Russian propagandaFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Reuters File Phhoto)

Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. will send their chief executive officers to a U.S. Senate hearing later this month devoted to a law that shields internet companies from liabilities.

A Senate panel voted to subpoena the heads of Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google for an Oct. 28 session focusing on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a provision that protects the companies from lawsuits over user-generated content. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have agreed to attend voluntarily, their companies said.

The hearing “must be constructive & focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections,” Twitter said Friday in a tweet confirming Dorsey’s attendance.

A Google spokeswoman didn’t immediately comment on whether Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai had agreed to attend the hearing. The Washington Post, citing an unidentified source, reported earlier that all three company CEOs would testify.

There’s bipartisan agreement in the Senate that Facebook, Twitter and Google are failing to properly manage content posted by billions of users to their platforms. But lawmakers disagree on the nature of the problem. While Democrats have called out the platforms for allowing misinformation that could affect the election, as well as hate speech and conspiracy theories, some Republicans have blasted the companies for censoring conservative voices and ideas– claims the platforms have rejected.

“Alleged ‘political bias’ remains an unsubstantiated allegation that we have refuted on many occasions to Congress,” Twitter said in a tweet from its policy account.

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