US panel to grill Facebook, Google, Twitter CEOs on Oct 28

San Francisco, Oct 3 (IANS) Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will be grilled by a US panel on October 28 over the Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The hearing will also cover the topics of privacy and media domination.
The CEOs will testify on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech companies from liability over the content posted by users on their online services, reports CNBC.
The US Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday voted to subpoena the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify before the panel.
The hearing will be Zuckerberg and Pichai’s first appearance before Congress since the two testified along with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos before the House Antitrust Subcommittee in July.
US President Donald Trump’s May 28 executive order sought to blunt Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act which generally protects internet companies from legal liability for user comments.
Republicans have repeatedly turned to Section 230 as a key area for reform in response to their concerns that social media companies censor conservative voices, a charge denied by Facebook, Google and Twitter.
Washington Senator Maria Cantwell who initially opposed the subpoena introduced by Chairman Roger Wicker (Republican-Miss) said she supported the move after Republicans included language in the subpoena about privacy and “media domination.”
“What I don’t want to see is a chilling effect on individuals who are in a process of trying to crack down on hate speech or misinformation about Covid during a pandemic,” she was quoted as saying.
“I welcome the debate about [Section] 230,” Cantwell said.
Section 230 states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”.

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