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Politics Tech CEOs face grilling on moderating content

17:25  28 october  2020
17:25  28 october  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Top executives from Twitter, Facebook and Google face a grilling from lawmakers Wednesday about how they moderate content on their platforms amid concerns about censorship and misinformation in the run-up to the election.

Mark Zuckerberg wearing a black shirt: Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17, 2019. © Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images, FILE Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17, 2019.

Lawmakers are interested in questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on whether changes ought to be made to a law that gives the companies broad freedom to choose if and how they moderate user-generated content on their platforms.

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The law - Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act - shields tech companies from legal liability for content posted by third parties to their platforms.

"For too long, social media platforms have hidden behind Section 230 protections to censor content that deviates from their beliefs,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Committee.

Republicans have for years decried the law as stifling conservative speech.

Jack Dorsey wearing a hat: Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and fin-tech firm Square, sits for a portrait during an interview with Reuters in London, June 11, 2019. © Toby Melville/Reuters, FILE Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and fin-tech firm Square, sits for a portrait during an interview with Reuters in London, June 11, 2019.

President Donald Trump has also targeted Section 230.

In May, he signed an executive order aimed at curbing the protections allowed to social media companies by the law after Twitter labeled two of his tweets with a fact-check label.

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Both of those tweets claimed, without evidence, that voting by mail would lead to fraudulent election outcomes. Some states have been using a vote-by-mail system for years, and experts broadly say that there is no evidence that mail-in balloting leads to election fraud.

The authority of Trump to limit the power of the law is unclear. Revisions to law need to be made by Congress, giving Republicans additional ammunition for Wednesday's hearing.

But Democrats also have expressed concern about the way social platforms have made use of the law.

They've expressed concern that, left unregulated, the platforms have given homes to misinformation campaigns.

Democrats have stopped short of advocating for a full overhaul of the law and have instead advocated for more targeted revisions.

The tech executives are expected to advocate for a balance in content management - one that allows for both free speech and responsible information sharing.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee said fact-checking is a form of censorship .
The comment was made during a Senate hearing in which Republicans said Twitter, Facebook, and Google are discriminating against conservatives views.The Senate Commerce Committee held the hearing with CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google to discuss Section 230 and Republicans' concerns over censorship online. Senate Republicans said the companies had discriminated against conservative views on their platforms.

usr: 0
This is interesting!