US Senators took the chief executives of Facebook and Twitter to investigate on Tuesday for how the services handled misinformation around the election, showing bipartisan support for changing a law that protects the companies from lawsuits. The hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee that lasted more than four hours, the lawmakers forced Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter to defend their companies’ efforts to limit the spread of false information about voting and the election results.
Republicans accused the companies of censoring conservative voices while Democrats complained about a continued surge of hate and misinformation online. Zuckerberg and Dorsey testify second time in three week duration before Congress. On contrary, with previous hearing, lawmakers on Tuesday drilled deeply into the companies’ practices for moderating content and outlined a legislative agenda that could restrain the platforms. “I fully expect that Congress is going to act in the next Congress that we’re going to produce an outcome,” Senator Tom Tillis, R-North Carolina, said. The hearing was focused on the questions of how Facebook and Twitter carry out the process of moderating the billions of pieces of content regularly posted to their networks.
Out of 127 total questions, more than half or 67 were about content moderation. Democrats asked 12 questions focusing at how Facebook and Twitter could increase their moderation efforts around topics like hate speech, while Republicans asked 37 questions about why some points of view were censored online and how content moderation could be decreased in some areas, according to the tally. Democrats call for more regulation of the tech industry while Republicans home in on bias complaints. Republicans has thrown 72 questions to the chief executives, 53 of which are concerned how they moderate content on their social media platforms. Republican senators were particularly focused on how Twitter and Facebook could employ less moderation, with 37 questions about censoring conservative voices and the ideological makeup of their workforces. Democrats asked 14 questions about content moderation, most of those are focused on whether more moderation could help prevent the spread of hate speech and violence. Zuckerberg fielded the majority of the inquiries with 71, and Dorsey was asked 56 questions.