Threatened by subpoena, FB, Google, twitter and other CEOs voluntarily testify in the Senate

 Threatened by subpoena, FB, Google, twitter and other CEOs voluntarily testify in the Senate

Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks via video conference at the House Judiciary sub committee hearing on antitrust, business, and administrative law

The Senate Commerce Committee earlier issued a subpoena by unanimous vote, forcing Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg, Googles Sundar Pichai and Twitters Jack Dorsey to testify. Although Democrats initially resisted and worried that holding such a hearing before the November 3 election might have a chilling effect, they agreed to vote for it after the hearing was expanded.

A committee aide said the subpoena was in place, but since CEOs had voluntarily agreed to testify, it would not be formally issued. CEOs of these technology companies will testify online.

The October 28th hearing will now involve not only the protection of Internet companies responsibilities, but also data privacy and media integration. The hearing comes amid growing protests from Republicans over these liability protections, which protect Internet companies from lawsuits over user posts and have wide leeway to adjust content.

Republicans say these protections should be scaled back, and many Democrats have expressed dissatisfaction with the behavior of technology companies. Trump popularized his allies accusation that social media companies censor conservative posts, and as the government itself points out, technology companies deny the accusation and limit the support of academic data. Specifically, trump lashed out at twitter for adding labels to his tweets. In addition to the fact check label, his tweets also included labels of glorifying violence and manipulating the media..

Many Democrats want to change the rules of liability protection for the technology industry because they are concerned that social media platforms are not doing enough to combat hate speech and misinformation. Several members of the Senate Commerce Committee raised these concerns at a previous meeting and said they were eager to ask technology company CEOs. Maria Cantwell, a senior congressman and Democratic senator from Washington state, has promised to release a democratic report on what she calls the value of local news and unfair competition on technology platforms before the hearing.

Aides to the committee said the hearing date had been reached after repeated discussions with technology companies, noting that technology companies had once proposed a more distant date, but had been rejected. Considering the subpoena threat, the two companies eventually agreed that their chief executives would voluntarily testify. On the eve of a significant and competitive election, the Judiciary Committee and the American people must get a comprehensive account of their content review practices from the heads of these companies, said Roger wicker, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee (small)

Source of this article: Zhang Zutao, responsible editor of Netease science and Technology Report_ NT5054