Facebook, Google, Twitter CEOs to testify at House hearing on misinformation

The top executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter will testify next month at a House Energy and Commerce hearing on the spread of online misinformation, the committee announced Thursday. 

The March 25 remote hearing will feature testimony from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. 

It follows scrutiny over the handling of false claims regarding the coronavirus, as well as about the results of the recent presidential election. 

“Whether it be falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine or debunked claims of election fraud, these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said in a joint statement. 

“For far too long, big tech has failed to acknowledge the role they’ve played in fomenting and elevating blatantly false information to its online audiences. Industry self-regulation has failed. We must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation,” they added. 

House Republicans on the committee had also pushed for a hearing with the CEOs. 

While lawmakers from both parties have criticized the tech giants, they largely differ in their specific criticisms. 

Democrats have accused the platforms of not taking enough action to combat misinformation and hate speech on their platforms, especially after the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that was driven by organization online and the spread of false claims about election fraud. 

Republicans, however, have leveled unsubstantiated claims that the tech giants are censoring content with an anti-conservative bias.

Tags Capitol breach Facebook Google Hearing Jan Schakowsky Mark Zuckerberg Mike Doyle Twitter
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