- The CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter will testify before Congress on Thursday at noon ET.
- The hearing will be held virtually and can be watched via live stream on YouTube.
- It will address how false information around the pandemic and the election spreads online.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The leaders of Google, Facebook, and Twitter will face questioning on Thursday from US lawmakers over how misleading information spreads on their platforms.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will be in attendance. The hearing will be held virtually and will be live-streamed on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s YouTube channel.
Thursday’s hearing was scheduled following mounting public pressure on internet platforms to control the proliferation of misinformation pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election. The companies have cracked down on former President Donald Trump as well — Twitter began adding fact-check labels to his tweets in May 2020, fueling an ongoing debate around alleged conservative discrimination online.
In the testimonies that the CEOs plan to make on Thursday, all three executives plan to lay out the various ways that their companies have combated misinformation. Zuckerberg and Pichai also expressed a willingness to address Section 230 protections but pushed back on some of the proposed changes that have been floated. Zuckerberg wrote that companies should be required to prove they have systems in place that moderates harmful content, but he said they still shouldn’t be liable if it slips through the cracks.
Read more: Trump’s Twitter had the whole world on edge. Here’s how the Biden White House plans to make @POTUS sane again.
This isn’t the first time the tech CEOs have been grilled by Congress. The CEOs of Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Amazon testified in July 2020 over antitrust concerns in what was the first time the Big Four have appeared together in such a setting.
These types of hearings have oftentimes devolved into political theatre, with lawmakers on either side of the aisle pushing the tech executives on talking points popular with their respective parties. Republican lawmakers often lambaste the CEOs for why their internet platforms allegedly censor conservative content, including that posted by Trump. Democratic lawmakers on the other hand typically argue the opposite: that social media websites don’t do enough to limit the reach of misinformation and hate speech.
The hearing is called “Disinformation Nation: Social Media’s Role in Promoting Extremism and Misinformation” and will kick off at noon ET on Thursday. You can watch the hearing below:
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