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Republicans on Senate panel subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs

Republicans on Senate panel subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs
© Greg Nash

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to subpoena the chief executives of Facebook and Twitter a week after both platforms limited the spread of a controversial article about Hunter Biden, Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe Biden Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll US to give Afghanistan 3M doses of J&J vaccine MORE's son.

The panel voted 12-0 to compel the testimony of Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergTexas governor signs ban on outside help for election administrators Hillicon Valley: NATO members agree to new cyber defense policy | YouTube banning politics, elections in masthead ads | 50 groups urge Biden to fill FCC position to reinstate net neutrality rules Pink Floyd's Roger Waters: 'No f---ing way' Zuckerberg can use our song for ad MORE and Jack Dorsey. The Democrats on the committee had boycotted the hearing over the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettSupreme Court's Cedar Point property rights decision protects both sides Supreme Court strikes down FHFA director's firing protection Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 MORE.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone declined to comment. Twitter also declined to comment. 

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It is not clear when the Judiciary hearing would take place.

Both CEOs, along with Google parent company Alphabet's Sundar Pichai, are scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday. That hearing is to focus on content moderation, data privacy and media consolidation.

Thursday’s vote came about a week after Facebook and Twitter moved to restrict the spread of a controversial article in the New York Post suggesting that Hunter Biden had organized a meeting between a Ukrainian businessman and his father, who was vice president at the time. That claim was based on emails obtained from a hard drive with no substantive links to anyone involved.

Conservatives seized on the social media platforms' decisions to accuse them of anticonservative bias and attack their legal liability shield.

That law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, is likely to come under fire during any hearing with the Big Tech CEOs.

Section 230, which has faced increased scrutiny since President TrumpDonald Trump Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US l Serious differences remain between US and Iran on nuclear talks l US, Turkish officials meet to discuss security plans for Afghan airport MORE targeted it in an executive order in May, gives internet companies immunity from lawsuits for content posted on their sites by third parties and allows them to make "good faith" efforts to moderate content.