The executives of Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet (the group that owns Google) will appear before a US Senate committee on October 28 to answer questions about their guidelines for moderating content on Internet platforms.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, owners of Google and YouTube, will testify via videoconference to the Senate Trade Commission, according to the Republican-led commission.
The hearing will focus on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects social media platforms from liability for user content – but has been used by tech companies to censor conservative opinions, according to Republicans.
Companies say they make these decisions regardless of political views. The Democrats encouraged companies to be more proactive in monitoring false information on social media.
The Senate Trade Commission announcement said the October 28 hearing “will provide an opportunity to discuss the unforeseen consequences of Section 230 liability coverage and to find the best way to use the Internet as a forum for open speech.” . “
Panel chairman Senator Roger Wicker (Republican of Mississippi) urged that the hearing be held soon. He decided to approve subpoenas of the three directors earlier this month, less than a week after asking for his testimony.
At a hearing to vote on subpoenas, he highlighted the upcoming US presidential election on November 3rd.
The Democrats had no objection to the issuance of subpoenas, although some said they did not believe the need to interview the business leaders before the elections.
The Senate Trade Commission hearing is different from a hearing from the Senate Justice Commission, which on Thursday (22) authorized its president to summon Dorsey and Zuckerberg after companies restricted the exchange of items on the New York Post relative to the Democratic’s son Presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The result of the vote, which allowed the chairman of the committee, Republican Lindsey Graham, to summon the executives, was 12 votes in favor and no against.
The US Congress usually negotiates with companies to obtain voluntary testimony at hearings and only chooses to submit subpoenas if the executive opposes.
No date has yet been set for the hearing. Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.
Democratic Congressmen did not attend the meeting that voted for the subpoena as they decided to boycott a second committee vote on the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated by President Donald Trump, to the Supreme Court.
Translation by Luiz Roberto Mendes Gonçalves