CEOs of 3 tech giants to testify at Oct. 28 Senate hearing

This combination of 2018-2020 photos shows, from left, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. They are expected to testify in an Oct. 28, 2020 Senate hearing on tech companies’ control over hate speech and misinformation on their platforms.

This combination of 2018-2020 photos shows, from left, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. They are expected to testify in an Oct. 28, 2020 Senate hearing on tech companies’ control over hate speech and misinformation on their platforms.

AP

The CEOs of technology giants Facebook, Google and Twitter are expected to testify for an Oct. 28 Senate hearing on tech companies’ control over hate speech and misinformation on their platforms.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted last week to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to force them to testify if they didn’t agree to do so voluntarily. Spokespeople for the companies said Monday that the CEOs will cooperate.

The hearing “must be constructive and focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections,” Twitter said in a tweet in its policy channel.

The hearing will come less than a week before Election Day. It marks a new bipartisan initiative against Big Tech companies, which have been under increasing scrutiny in Washington and from state attorneys general over issues of competition, consumer privacy and hate speech.

The executives’ testimony is needed “to reveal the extent of influence that their companies have over American speech during a critical time in our democratic process,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican who heads the Commerce Committee.

Facebook, meanwhile, is expanding restrictions on political advertising, including new bans on messages claiming widespread voter fraud. The new prohibitions laid out in a blog post came days after President Donald Trump raised the prospect of mass fraud in the vote-by-mail process during a debate last week with Democratic rival Joe Biden.

With Trump leading the

CEOs of 3 Tech Giants to Testify at Oct. 28 Senate Hearing | Washington, D.C. News

By MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEOs of technology giants Facebook, Google and Twitter are expected to testify for an Oct. 28 Senate hearing on tech companies’ control over hate speech and misinformation on their platforms.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted last week to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to force them to testify if they didn’t agree to do so voluntarily. Spokespeople for the companies said Monday that the CEOs will cooperate.

The hearing “must be constructive and focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections,” Twitter said in a tweet in its policy channel.

The hearing will come less than a week before Election Day. It marks a new bipartisan initiative against Big Tech companies, which have been under increasing scrutiny in Washington and from state attorneys general over issues of competition, consumer privacy and hate speech.

The executives’ testimony is needed “to reveal the extent of influence that their companies have over American speech during a critical time in our democratic process,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican who heads the Commerce Committee.

Facebook, meanwhile, is expanding restrictions on political advertising, including new bans on messages claiming widespread voter fraud. The new prohibitions laid out in a blog post came days after President Donald Trump raised the prospect of mass fraud in the vote-by-mail process during a debate last week with Democratic rival Joe Biden.

With Trump leading the way, conservative Republicans have kept up a barrage of criticism of Silicon Valley’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative views.

The Justice Department has asked Congress to roll back long-held legal protections for online platforms, putting down a legislative

Twitter, Facebook to Send CEOs to Senate Hearing on Section 230

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. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

(Bloomberg) — 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

Tech CEOs will testify before Senate Commerce Committee

By David Shepardson and Nandita Rose | Reuters

WASHINGTON – The chief executives of Facebook <FB.O, Twitter and Alphabet-owned Google have agreed to voluntarily testify at a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee on Oct. 28 about a key law protecting internet companies.

Facebook and Twitter confirmed on Friday that their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, respectively, will appear, while a source said that Google’s Sundar Pichai will appear. That came a day after the committee unanimously voted to approve a plan to subpoena the three CEOs to appear before the panel.

Twitter’s Dorsey tweeted on Friday that the hearing “must be constructive & focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections.”

The CEOs are to appear virtually.

In addition to discussions on reforming the law called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects internet companies from liability over content posted by users, the hearing will bring up issues about consumer privacy and media consolidation.

Republican President Donald Trump has made holding tech companies accountable for allegedly stifling conservative voices a theme of his administration. As a result, calls for a reform of Section 230 have been intensifying ahead of the Nov. 3 elections, but there is little chance of approval by Congress this year.

Last week Trump met with nine Republican state attorneys general to discuss the fate of Section 230 after the Justice Department unveiled a legislative proposal aimed at reforming the law.

The chief executives of Google, Facebook, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc recently testified before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel. The panel, which is investigating how the companies’ practices hurt rivals, is expected to release its report as early as next Monday.

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Senate Commerce votes to issue subpoenas to CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter

The Senate Commerce Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to issue subpoenas to the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter, in Washington’s latest attack on Big Tech.



Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey are posing for a picture


© Carsten Koall/Mandel Ngan/Drew Angerer/Getty Images


The subpoenas aim to force Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey to testify about the legal immunity the law affords tech platforms under Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934. That law, Republicans argue, unduly protects social media companies against allegations of anti-conservative censorship. There is little evidence such bias exists on a systemic basis. Democrats have argued tech platforms have failed to moderate enough content under the law.

Thursday’s charge was led by Sen. Roger Wicker, the Mississippi Republican who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee.

“I fear that Section 230’s sweeping liability protections for Big Tech are stifling true diversity of political discourse on the internet,” Wicker said. “On the eve of a momentous and highly charged election, it is imperative that this committee of jurisdiction and the American people receive a full accounting from the heads of these companies about their content moderation practices.”

Under Section 230, websites and tech platforms cannot be held liable for the content their users create, and companies are given wide freedom to moderate their sites as they see fit. The law has been described as a foundational pillar of the modern internet.

The effort to compel the executives’ testimony is part of a wider push, largely by Republicans, to make Section 230 a hot-button issue before the election. Lawmakers have introduced a series of bills designed to scale back the law’s protections and create greater legal exposure for tech companies. And last month, the Justice Department weighed in with its own draft legislation that it submitted to Congress.

The committee hopes to hold its hearing before Election