WPRI 12 News Washington DC Bureau

Big tech CEOs grilled in Senate hearing

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Top executives from Twitter, Facebook and Google testified in front of lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday regarding the Trump administration’s request to have Congress strip some of the protections that have generally shielded the tech companies from legal responsibility for what people post on their platforms.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said while he supports reforming those regulations, now is not the time to do so.

“There needs to be constructive review,” he said.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts agrees.

“My Republican committee colleagues are simply doing the president’s bidding,” Markey said. “[They’re] determined to feed a false narrative about anti-conservative bias meant to intimidate big tech so it will stand idly by.”

Republicans on the Commerce Committee argue they have legitimate concerns about how the tech giants pick and choose what content to flag or take down.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, went after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for what he considers to be a double standard.

“How does a claim by Chinese Communists that the US military is to blame for COVID remain up for two months without a fact check and the President’s tweet about the security of mail-in ballots get labeled instantly?” he asked Dorsey.

“The goal of our labeling is to provide more context for people to connect the dots,” Dorsey replied.

Wicker said it’s time to remove the liability protection that the platforms enjoy.

“The time has come for that free pass to end,” Wicker said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he’s open to changes.

“I think Congress should update the law to make sure that it’s working as intended,” Zuckerberg said.

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