Technology

House Republicans urge Democrats to call hearing with tech CEOs

Greg Nash

Top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday called on their Democratic colleagues to hold a hearing with the CEOs of Silicon Valley giants amid GOP criticism of companies’ platform management. 

The Republicans wrote to committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) urging bipartisanship in holding the tech giants accountable and reissuing a push for a hearing with the CEOs of Twitter, Google, Facebook and Apple. 

“Big Tech is increasingly becoming a destructive force. Our sincere hope was that Big Tech would take seriously the significant role they play in our society and do better to responsibly manage their platforms,” Republicans wrote.

“Last Congress, we requested you hold a hearing with several Big Tech CEOs to get answers and push them to improve their practices. Unfortunately, Big Tech’s behavior has increasingly worsened. It is clear this Committee must take leadership and act.” 

The letter is signed by ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), as well as three subcommittee chairs: Reps. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.).

A Democratic spokesperson for the committee said they are looking to schedule a hearing with the CEOs of the companies. 

“We’ve been in communication with the social media companies for weeks now working to schedule a date for the CEOs to testify before the Committee and hope to have something to announce soon,” the spokesperson said in a statement. 

In the letter, Republicans note their “Big Tech Accountability Platform,” which Rodgers released last week

The plan indicates Republicans continuing to push forward with allegations that tech platforms are censoring conservative voices with an anti-conservative bias. For example, Rodgers singled out Twitter’s decision to permanently ban former President Trump. 

The allegations have not been substantiated. A report released earlier this week from New York University concluded there is no evidence to back up these claims and stated the claims themselves are a form of disinformation. 

A spokesperson for committee Democrats was not immediately available for comment.

Although Democrats are likely to widely disagree with Republicans over their push to cast tech giants as “anti-conservative,” the members of the majority party have voiced their own concerns about content moderation policies.

In wake of the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Democrats have pushed for tech companies to further crack down on content moderation.

Updated 11:17 a.m.

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