WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest news from a House committee questioning the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter. All times local.
Executives whose companies run influential social media platforms are — perhaps understandably — having trouble giving simple answers to lawmakers' questions.
Committee chair Frank Pallone, D-N.J., asked the CEOS of all three platforms to answer, in “yes or no” fashion, whether their platforms bear some responsibility for disseminating misinformation related to the election and the "stop the steal movement that led to the attack on the Capitol."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began saying, “Our responsibility is to build systems...,” but Pallone cut him off and asked again for a yes-or-no answer, which Zuckerberg didn’t have.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said, “We always feel some sense of responsibility,” but also didn’t have a yes-or-no answer.
Twitter’s Jack Dorsey may have scored a point with his answer: “Yes, but you also have to take into consideration a broader ecosystem, it’s not just the technology platforms we use.”
Lawmakers are lambasting three Big Tech CEOs for allowing hate speech and disinformation to thrive on their social media platforms, signaling congressional interest in stepping up heavy scrutiny of the powerful tech industry and possible legal changes.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, CEO of YouTube parent Google, are facing questioning at a hearing by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. They have previously pledged strong steps to stanch disinformation, and Facebook and Twitter kicked former President Donald Trump off their platforms following the Jan. 6 deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Committee chair Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said, “The time for self-regulation is over. It’s time we legislate to hold you accountable.”
Referencing the Jan. 6 riot, Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., said the attack “started and was nourished on your platforms.”