Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on November 18 agreed to introduce an amendment to the controversial Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, they, however, rejected any changes on the platform that will allow the US government to moderate the content. According to an NPR report, the tech CEOs upset the senators when they vehemently refused to make imminent changes to the regulatory model of their business. Communications Decency Act (CDA) prohibits the provider or user of an interactive computer service to be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.
The two tech CEOs appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, November 17, at a hearing, “Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election.” The US lawmakers grilled the social media leaders on their viewpoints on content moderation. However, chief executives of Facebook and Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, concluded their second Senate testimony with reluctance to government regulations and only welcoming the reforming laws. The hearing comes three weeks since the last where CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter testified as fresh concerns about social media’s role in disseminating information, and censoring news arose in the wake of the US elections. Lawmakers questioned the social media companies handling of the allegations of voter fraud, including claims made by the US President Trump, and other unverified and misleading information.
Senate Judiciary Committee alleged that the social media sites conveniently withheld part of the information, such as The New York Post story about President-elect Joe Biden's son that Republicans contested reeked of social media platform bias. Further, the freeflow of the information about Republicans’ unregulated claims that cast doubt on the election results was challenged by the committee. The lawmakers noted that Twitter and Facebook were noted opting for a stricter approach for conservative speech than the democrats. While both CEOs admitted some errors, they simply failed to ‘recognize’ the real problem, as Zuckerberg said, “There’s so much content, I mean, there are more than 2 billion Facebook users.”
#BigTech’s abuses of power are a threat to our free speech & democracy. That's why today @twitter & @facebook are returning to the Senate to testify before @senjudiciary. There, I intend to get more answers on behalf of the American people.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 17, 2020
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