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Facebook, Google, Twitter CEOs to testify before US Senate on October 28: All you need to know

Major US technology companies have been under lawmakers' scanner, with some even facing an anti-trust investigation.

October 06, 2020 / 11:54 AM IST
Social media companies (Image Source: Reuters)

Social media companies (Image Source: Reuters)

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 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.

In May 2020, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order removing some of the legal protection given to social media platforms.

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What are the allegations against Big Tech companies? 

Major US technology companies have been under lawmakers' scanner, with some even facing an anti-trust investigation.

In July, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Pichai, and Zuckerberg had testified before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel.

Apart from their dominance in their markets, some of companies have also come under scrutiny due their content moderation policies.

On October 28, Facebook, Twitter and Google will likely be questioned on privacy and misinformation, according to a BBC report.

The report said that while the Democrats are expected to focus on competition and misinformation, the Republicans will highlight alleged censorship of conservative views by the social media platforms.

"There's nothing in the algorithm that has anything to do with political ideology," Pichai said in July. "We do get complaints across the aisle," he said.

Both Trump and Democrat Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden have criticised Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but for different reasons.

Trump has accused Twitter and Facebook of stifling conservative voices, while Biden has alleged that the platforms "propagate falsehoods". Biden has called for the revocation of Section 230.

Under Section 230, the companies are not treated as publishers, which means that they are not liable for the content posted on the social media platforms.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 6, 2020 11:54 am

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