CEOs from two of the biggest companies in the world (and Twitter) testified in front of the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday in a hearing that was billed as a deliberation over Section 230. It ended up being more about castigating social media platforms both for censoring voices too much and for not censoring them enough.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey appeared before an almost entirely virtual panel of legislators, none of whom seemed particularly thrilled with the CEOs’ work. But their complaints differed depending on their political party. Republicans generally used the hearing to scold the companies for censoring conservative voices to the extent that they may influence the outcome of the election in Biden’s favor. Democrats objected to having a hearing at all and asked the CEOs what they were doing to suppress violent extremism and election interference on their platforms.
If nothing else, the hearings showed a bipartisan dislike and mistrust of social media platforms and a desire to do something about them.
The hearing was titled “Does Section 230’s Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?” — that bad behavior being, to its vocal conservative opponents, social
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