The hearing, titled “Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election,” comes as Former Vice President was declared the winner of the presidential election but President Trump has refused to concede and his campaign files numerous lawsuits to contest the results.
One member of the committee, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), tweeted ahead of the meeting, “I’ve heard from @Facebook whistleblower who revealed @Facebook and @Google and @Twitter coordinate to censor. Facebook has an internal platform to manage it. I’ll be asking Mark Zuckerberg and @jack about this at tomorrow’s hearing.”
Last month during a commerce committee hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) slammed Dorsey for blocking the Post’s story on Hunter Biden’s business dealings and censoring to aid Democrats.
“Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?” Cruz told the social-media mogul. “Why do you persist in behaving as a Democratic super PAC, silencing views to the contrary of your political beliefs?”
A central issue in the hearing is whether a federal law — Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that shields Internet companies from liability for content on their platforms — should be changed or eliminated. Trump asked for a repeal of Section 230 entirely or the part of that lets companies “curate” or alter content. In an executive order, he asked the FCC to review the law.
Conservatives and liberals both have concerns about how social media platforms operate, for opposite reasons.
The political left has called for more aggressive policing to curb the spread of “misinformation,” while those on the right have accused the platforms of censorship.
Dorsey, in prepared testimony, warned lawmakers against imposing reactionary rules that could lead to more censorship
“Such actions could have the opposite effect, likely resulting in increased removal of speech, the proliferation of frivolous lawsuits, and severe limitations on our collective ability to address harmful content and protect people online,” Dorsey said.
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