Politics Tech CEOs face grilling on moderating content
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Top executives from, 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 .
Lawmakers are interested in questioning Facebook CEO, Twitter CEO , 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.
Hillicon Valley: Five takeaways on new election interference from Iran, Russia | Schumer says briefing on Iranian election interference didn't convince him effort was meant to hurt Trump | Republicans on Senate panel subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs |
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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.
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.
Senate Judiciary approves subpoenas for Twitter, Facebook CEOs over bias charges
One Democratic panel member said Republicans are trying to "intimidate the platforms days before the election."How the vote went down: The Judiciary Committee voted 12-0 to authorize the subpoenas, with all Judiciary Republicans voting in favor. Democrats boycotted the session over a separate vote on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
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.