Executives of Google, Facebook, and Twitter are testifying in the House of Representatives on Thursday about how disinformation spreads across their platforms, an issue that tech companies have been scrutinized for. during the presidential election and after the January 6 riots at the Capitol.
The hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the first time Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Google’s Sundar Pichai have appeared before Congress during the Biden administration. President Biden has pointed out that he could be a tough tech guy. That position, coupled with Democrat control over Congress, has sparked free hopes that Washington will take steps to curb Big Tech’s power and achieve it in the next few years.
The hearing was also the first chance since the January 6 Capitol riots for lawmakers to question the three men about the roles their companies played in the event. The attack has made personal misinformation serious for lawmakers because of those involved in the riot that is linked to online conspiracy theories like QAnon.
Prior to the hearing, Democrats signaled in a memo that they are interested in questioning executives about January 6 attacks, rightist efforts. to undermine the results of the 2020 elections and misinformation related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Republicans sent letters to executives this month asking them about their decision to remove conservative characters and stories from their platform, including an October article in The New York Post. about Hunter, President Biden’s son.
Lawmakers have debated whether the business models of social media platforms encourage the spread of hatred and misinformation by prioritizing content that will engage users, often by emphasizing posts that are divisive or divisive.
Some lawmakers will promote changes to Section 230 of the Communication Framework Act, a 1996 law that protects the platform from lawsuits against their users’ posts. Lawmakers are trying to strip away the protections in case companies’ algorithms have amplified certain illegal content. Others believe the spread of misinformation could be rooted in stronger antitrust laws, as these platforms have until now remained the primary basis for publicly communicating online.
Representative Frank Pallone said: “Now it is clear that neither the market nor public pressure can stop the social media companies from raising false information and extremism, so we are not There is no choice but to legislate, and now is the question of the best way to do that. ” , member of the New Jersey Democratic Party, who is chairman of the committee.
Tech executives are expected to make efforts to limit misinformation and redirect users to more reliable sources of information. They may also entertain the possibility of more regulation, in an attempt to shape increasingly probable legal changes than against them altogether.