CEOs from big tech companies to testify about misinformation

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CEOs Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey will have to answer to Congress about the explosion of misinformation on their platform. They will also be required to state how they plan to address the problem.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced the hearing with Facebook, Twitter, and Google leaders. It is set to take place on March 25.

The hearing will take place remotely and will focus on “misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.” It is also expected that the hearing will advance the committee’s goal of holding online platforms accountable for what is posted by users.

Singling out misinformation on election and COVID-19

The lawmakers are particularly interested in talking about the election fraud claims, which led to the Jan 6 riots and storming of the Capitol. The hearings will also include concerns regarding misinformation and disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine.

This is not the first rodeo for any of these tech leaders as they have been previously called in to testify before lawmakers in recent months.

There was an October hearing with all three before the Senate Commerce Committee on Section 230, which shields these companies from legal liability for content posted by platform users.

Big tech does not want to be regulated

Committee chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. and subcommittee chairs Reps. Mike Doyle (and Jan Schakowsky, said in a statement that for a long time now, big tech has failed to acknowledge its role in fomenting and elevating blatantly false information for its audiences.

Industry self-regulation doesn’t seem to be working and when governments step in to try and something meaningful, the companies retaliate.

This was most recently very clear in the case of Australia’s new bill. Facebook took down multiple pages and other important functions. Google has threatened to do the same if the bill passes.