The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Facebook, Twitter and Google will testify before the US Senate in a virtual hearing on October 28.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey will be questioned on their policies regarding content.
The Senate Commerce Committee voted last week to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to force them to testify if they didn’t agree to do so voluntarily. Spokespeople for the companies said Monday that the CEOs will cooperate.
It must be constructive & focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) October 2, 2020
The hearing “must be constructive and focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections,” Twitter said in a tweet in its policy channel.
The hearing will focus on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects internet companies from liability over content posted by users. The Senate Commerce Committee had on October 1 voted unanimously to issue subpoenas to the three CEOs to appear before the panel.
The hearing will come less than a week before Election Day. It marks a new bipartisan initiative against Big Tech companies, which have been under increasing scrutiny in Washington and from state attorneys general over issues of competition, consumer privacy and hate speech.
The executives’ testimony is needed “to reveal the extent of influence that their companies have over American speech during a critical time in our democratic process,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican who heads the Commerce Committee.