Why are Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey testifying in front of the Senate, and what can we expect?
The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter are testifying in a congressional hearing today regarding the content moderation practices they have implemented on their social media platforms.
- In October, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to subpoena Zuckerberg and Dorsey after their social media companies, Facebook and Twitter, blocked the dissemination of a story about Hunter Biden‘s ties to Chinese businesspeople.
- Citing unfair censorship of ideas, Republican lawmakers and President Trump have threatened to repeal protections for internet companies if Twitter and Facebook.
- Zuckerberg and Dorsey introduced security measures earlier this year in order to curb concerns of foreign interference in the presidential elections.
- However, the measures put in place to combat foreign misinformation became controversial when they were employed to refute unsubstantiated claims by President Trump and other conservative leaders that the election had been fraudulent or rigged.
- Republicans claim that by hiding or qualifying comments from conservatives, social media networks are unfairly skewing the information environment in favor of Democrats.
- In the testimony today, we can expect both Dorsey and Zuckerberg to defend their companies’ decision to point out misleading or fraudulent claims on their website, and that their companies are not biased for or against conservative rhetoric.
- The Senators and the CEOs will also discuss Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which exonerates website owners from liability for user content posted on their site. The tech leads will likely advocate for more clear protections for tech companies and website owners, while Republicans will likely advocate for more scrutiny on companies moderating content through the law
- Writes that the entire hearing will likely skew conservative. Axios points out that the Senate Judiciary Committee is chaired by conservative Senator Lindsey Graham, who is a close ally of Trump.
- Generally defend Dorsey and Zuckerberg. Bloomberg and the Guardian imply that they were unfairly “attacked” by GOP lawmakers for their decision to uphold national values. Politico writes that Facebook has cooperated closely with President-elect Biden on his transition.
- Implies that conservative rhetoric is only being “censored” because it is baseless and dangerous. Business Insider writes that Twitter and Facebook did not remove content to suppress Conservatives, but rather to avoid harming the integrity of the election.
- Reports that tech companies were most definitely working to censor conservative lawmakers. Breitbart says that hard evidence exists of this fact, and that Dorsey and Zuckerberg should be held accountable, while The Blaze points out that Twitter failed to censor other dangerous rhetoric, but chose to block GOP rhetoric.
- Advocates for a boycott of Twitter and Facebook. As many Conservatives have called for a mass migration to apps like Parler, which they say allows them to speak more freely, Daily Wire says that Democrats are overreacting.
- Theorizes that Democrats and technology companies are in cahoots. Fox News points out after an interview with Republican Marsha Blackburn that “big government is good for big tech.”
© Evelyn Torsher, 2020