💥 This week’s edition of politicians going after Big Tech stars Mark Zuckerberg
|Lawtrades||Nov 18, 2020|
There was a new chapter in the neverending story of the federal government vs. Big Tech. And this time Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey felt the heat.
The main topic was content moderation: On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Republican Senators like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley went particularly hard after Zuck’s Facebook and Dorsey’s Twitter. Hawley and Cruz accused both social networks of moderating posts by conservatives, including some of Donald Trump’s, more than posts by liberals -- an accusation that has not been proven.
Democrats largely talked about more moderation: They asked why Twitter and Facebook had not done enough to moderate harmful content. Sen. Richard Blumenthal suggested former Trump aide Steve Bannon’s FB account should’ve been banned after he posted that Dr. Anthony Fauci should be beheaded.
There was consensus about the social networks’ inconsistency: Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle expressed how they are confused about how Twitter and Facebook make moderation decisions -- a sentiment that seemed to endure even as the two CEOs answered questions on Tuesday.
What about Section 230?
This law, which protects companies from speech concerns, is bound to change in the coming years. At the hearing, Dorsey said Twitter probably would not exist without 230’s protections. He said if the law is reformed lawmakers should focus on algorithms.
Dorsey believes users should have the option of turning off algorithms, which may help shelter them from coming across harmful content.
As we know from the federal government’s various actions against Big Tech, times are changing. And despite the recent efforts of Facebook and Twitter to modify their moderation techniques, criticism abounds from Democrats and Republicans.