Senate panel moves to compel 3 social media CEOs to testify
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel has moved to compel testimony from the CEOs of social media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter, as lawmakers opened a new front in rhetorical battles over hate speech, misinformation and perceived political bias on internet platforms a month before the presidential election.
The Senate Commerce Committee voted Thursday to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, to force them to appear at a planned hearing if they don’t agree to do so voluntarily.
The committee's unanimous vote marked the start of a new bipartisan initiative against Big Tech companies, which have been under increasing scrutiny and pressure in Washington and from state attorneys general over issues of competition, consumer privacy and hate speech.
With President Donald Trump in the lead, conservative Republicans have kept up a barrage of criticism of Silicon Valley’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative views. The Justice Department has asked Congress to roll back long-held legal protections for online platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter, putting down a legislative marker in Trump’s drive against the social media giants. The proposed changes would strip some of the bedrock protections that have generally shielded the companies from legal responsibility for what people post on their platforms.
Trump signed an executive order earlier this year challenging the protections from lawsuits under a 1996 telecommunications law that have served as the foundation for unfettered speech on the internet.
At a White House event last week, officials said the legislative proposal would protect the open internet and prevent hidden manipulation by social media. In addition, Attorney General...