World News – US – Congress Grills Tech CEOs: Key Moments from the Senate Hearing


« Did you do anything to get it across? » Because we are at a roadblock, ”Sen Amy Klobuchar asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Sen Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, accused her fellow Republicans of calling a hearing with top tech executives to politicize concerns about misinformation and election interference ahead of next week’s election – and has asked why his own tech legislation was stuck in the Senate

« I want to note first of all that this hearing takes place six days before Election Day and I believe we are politicizing and the Republican majority politicizing which should not in fact be a partisan subject, » he said. she declared Wednesday

The former Democratic presidential candidate then lamented that the legislation she introduced to increase the transparency of online political advertising and strengthen electoral security has languished without wider support from Republicans or the White House

Its Honest Ads Act has failed to gain momentum, Klobuchar noted when questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking if his company had spent any money lobbying to change or block the bill

Sen Gary Peters is Senior Senate Democrat on Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee | Joshua Roberts-Pool / Getty Images

Michigan lawmaker suggested the company could still do more to prevent its users from radicalizing and engaging with violent extremist groups

Democrat Sen Gary Peters urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a congressional hearing on Wednesday whether the company has a « responsibility » to do more to keep its users away from violent extremist groups on its sites. platforms

Michigan lawmaker praised Facebook for helping authorities disrupt a recent plot to kidnap state governor Gretchen Whitmer, which was partly planned on its sites But Peters suggested the company could do more to prevent its users from radicalizing and engaging with violent extremist groups, like the alleged Whitmer kidnappers

Peters noted during the Senate Commerce Committee hearing that a new Facebook plan to redirect users who search for extremist content to authoritative sources apparently does not apply to « budding violent extremists »

« Do you think your platform has a responsibility to leave users who are on the road to radicalization by violent extremist groups? » Peters said

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speaks remotely during Senate hearing with big tech companies Oct February 28, 2020 on Capitol Hill | Greg Nash-Pool / Getty Images

« The rhetoric against our own people or the own citizens of a country that we think is different and can cause more immediate harm, » added Jack Dorsey

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday defended the company’s decision to leave tweets from the Iranian leader threatening armed attacks against Israel while putting fact-checking and violence labels on the tweets of the President Donald Trump

« We did not find these violated our terms of service because we saw them as ‘sabers’, which is part of the discourse of world leaders in concert with other countries, » said Dorsey, Senate Speaker in charge of Commerce, Roger Wicker (R- Miss), who had asked about tweets from Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

« The rhetoric against our own people or the own citizens of a country that we believe is different and can cause more immediate harm, » Dorsey added during Wednesday’s hearing with other tech CEOs

The Iranian tweets in question included one from May in which Khamenei described the state of Israel as « deadly and cancerous growth », and another in which he wrote: « We will support and assist any nation or group that opposes it and fight the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say so « 

Tuesday’s hearing was briefly interrupted when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was unable to connect with the trade committee via a video stream

Senate Judicial Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss) briefed the rest of the committee on the technical issue after opening statements by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Wicker said the committee would take a five-minute break to allow Zuckerberg, who was on his own, and Facebook staff to log into the hearing, but the CEO could be corrected after a few minutes

Sen Maria Cantwell warned in her opening speech at the hearing that the integrity and security of the US elections remain under attack

« I know some people think these issues are out of sight, out of mind, » she said. « I guarantee you, they are not »

Sen Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) used her opening remarks to deflect attention from Republican accusations of anti-Conservative bias, and return to issues that were more pressing for Democrats: how tech companies are handling the electoral disinformation and its impact on local news

In doing so, the leading Democrat on the Senate Trade Committee attempted to set a markedly different agenda than President Roger Wicker (R-Miss) and illustrated how Twitter, Google and Facebook find themselves rooted in a deeply partisan political struggle

« What I don’t want today’s hearing to be a chilling effect on the very important aspects of ensuring that hate speech or disinformation related to public health and safety is allowed to stay on the Internet, « Cantwell said

She then resurrected the ghosts of the 2016 presidential election, when Russian trolls used hacked emails and online disinformation to sow discord among voters Cantwell warned that the integrity and security of the US elections remain under attack – both by foreign adversaries and domestic political actors

Sen Roger Wicker in particular took issue with Facebook and Twitter restricting the distribution of contentious New York Post articles

The senior Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee issued an early warning to CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter during a congressional hearing on Wednesday, saying it was time to end the « pass » industry to « control, stifle and even censor content « from users as they see fit

Delivering opening remarks at a much-anticipated hearing on the tech industry’s valuable legal liability protections, Roger Wicker, President of the Senate on Commerce (R-Miss) spoke out against tech companies about allegations of bias against the Tories And he raised the specter of weakening these protections, granted under a 1996 law known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act This law protects online businesses against lawsuits for hosting and controlling user posts

“This liability shield has played a vital role in protecting online platforms from endless and potentially ruinous lawsuits,” Wicker said. “But it also gave these internet platforms the ability to control , stifle and even censor content in ways that meet their respective standards The time has come for this free pass to end « 

Wicker, whose panel threatened to issue subpoenas to CEOs if they did not testify before the committee, particularly criticized Facebook and Twitter for limiting the dissemination of contentious New York Post articles alleging direct links between Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s business interests

« What’s going on here is a shame, » Sen Brian Schatz intends to say, avoiding questions in what he considers a mock hearing

A senior Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee plans to plead with CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter to « oppose this immoral behavior » by Republicans for taking them to the censorship hearing on Wednesday presumed so early before Nov 3 election

“What is happening here is a shame,” Sen Brian Schatz of Hawaii, the top Democrat on the telecommunications subcommittee, will say, according to prepared remarks, “It’s a scar on the committee, and it’s is a scar in the United States Senate « 

« What we are seeing today are US senators trying to intimidate CEOs of private companies into doing a successful job on a presidential candidate by making sure they spread false information abroad and at home intended to influence the election, « add

Democratic lawmaker to forgo questioning tech CEOs given what he calls a ‘shame’ and ‘sham’ of a procedure

On this Wednesday, October February 23, 2019, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for a House of Commons Financial Services Committee hearing at Capitol Hill in Washington | Photo AP / Andrew Harnik, file

Three of Silicon Valley’s most influential CEOs disagree as lawmakers consider steps to reduce Silicon Valley’s liability protections

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls on Congress to « update » a crucial legal shield for the online industry, while Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said lawmakers should be « Restraint » in changing the rules, according to executives’ written testimony for a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday obtained by POLITICO on Tuesday Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who is also due to testify, also urged caution

The remarks show the light of day between three of the tech industry’s best-known leaders over an accountability law that politicians on both sides want to reduce or revoke – efforts that Silicon lobbying groups Valley mostly opposed

Tech CEOs in the hot seat: Wednesday’s hearing comes as lawmakers examine a 1996 law known as Section 230, which protects online businesses from lawsuits for hosting, deletion or otherwise user content moderation

United States Senate, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai, Managing Director, Facebook

News from around the world – United States – Congress grids tech CEOs: key moments of the Senate hearing



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