The US Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing with the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter on Wednesday (28). The session was convened to address Section 230, an excerpt from the Communications Decency Act that exempts platforms from liability for content posted by users. The law is criticized by some parliamentarians, who defend the changes, but has been advocated by executives.
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Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey (Image: Playback)
Lasting nearly four hours, the hearing with Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey was marked by accusations by Republicans of censorship of conservative speeches and criticism by Democrats of the lack of more intense actions to fight misinformation. The senators are still wondering about the measures taken before the American elections, scheduled for next Tuesday (3).
Zuckerberg asks for attention ahead of law changes
In one of his speeches, Zuckerberg admitted the need to amend Section 230 to give users more transparency in content moderation. Then the executive took a stand with Pichai and Dorsey understanding that there is no need to change the end of the section of the law that allows companies to restrict content deemed “obscene”, “obscene”, “excessively violent”, “hostile”. ” or ” questionable “. in another way “.
“I’m concerned that some proposals would suggest removing the phrase ‘questionable,’ otherwise Section 230 would limit our ability to remove harassing and harassing content on our platforms, which would make people worse off,” Zuckerberg said. “I think we have to be careful how we think about it.”
The executive said Facebook will act to prevent misinformation with early declarations of victory on US Election Day. The platform was already in advance, if such a post is made by the candidates, it will be marked with the official information of the calculation. Zuckerberg also vowed to ban posts where candidates promote violence and claim his social network has removed political endorsements.
Senators criticize Twitter moderation
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been questioned enough about how the platform acted to limit the spread of a report of new york post office over emails involving the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. The news exchange was banned by the social network and, after various criticisms, was authorized.
Dorsey apologized for the decision and called for measures to increase transparency. “We realize we need to earn more trust. We realize more accountability is needed to show our intentions and results,” the executive said.
jack dorsey (photo: reproduction)
He was also implicated through a posting made in Tweet in United States President Donald Trump questions the security of mail-in voting. For some Republican senators, the social network does not work in other situations.
“When we think about enforcing a rule, we consider the seriousness of the damage offline and act as soon as possible,” Dorsey explained. “We worked on the basis of tweets from leaders around the world, including the president. And we acted on this Tweet, because we saw the confusion that could arise and labeled it accordingly.”
Google under fire after antitrust action
Of the three executives, Sundar Pichai was questioned the least by senators. The executive said Google has an extensive content moderation performance, making $4 billion a year with around 10,000 moderators. However, the senators focused on criticizing the company after the US Department of Justice over an alleged monopoly on online search and advertising.
one of the senators rated “offensive” based on Google’s response to the accusation. The company had argued that the lawsuit was “deeply flawed” and that people were using its services because they wanted to. At the Senate hearing, Pichai returned to defend the company’s position. “We see strong competition in many categories,” he said.
In his opening remarks, the executive also maintained the position that the company does not limit speeches on a political account. “We approach our work without political bias, period,” he said. “To do anything else would be contrary to our business interests and our mission, which requires us to make information accessible to all kinds of people, no matter where they live or what they believe.”