Watch Live: Big Tech CEOs Face-Off With Congressional Members... Again

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Mar 25, 2021 - 11:55 AM

For the fourth time since the beginning of the virus pandemic, social media executives will answer questions on how their platforms aided extremists in the US Capitol attack, along with questions about misinformation on a video conference call with congressional members. 

At 1200 ET, the House's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce will ask CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google how their platforms contributed to the deadly attacks on the US Capitol in January and the spread of misinformation about vaccines. 

Members from both subcommittees will likely hound Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey, and Google's Sundar Pichai on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol and rise of vaccine misinformation. The billionaire tech CEOs will likely defend the liability shield that protects their platforms. 

Both Republicans and Democrats, and even President Biden (as a candidate), have called for abolishing Section 230. 

Each subcommittee will likely ask Zuckerberg about extremists organizing through his platform. 

Tech execs in front of congressional members has become a regular occurrence over the last year. This time these execs are facing more challenging questions about their past promises. 

For instance, Zuckerberg and Dorsey told lawmakers in November that they would increase action against disinformation.

Republicans and Democrats have both pressured social media companies but for different reasons: Republicans complain of censorship and anti-conservative bias, while Democrats say the platforms create a world of misinformation and the rise of extremists in America. 

In a written testimony prepared for Thursday's hearing, Zuckerberg said: 

"Instead of being granted immunity, platforms should be required to demonstrate that they have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing." 

It's not clear what lawmakers will decide after today's hearing, but billionaire tech CEOs have urged caution about any revisions to Section 230.

In Dorsey's written statement, he said: 

"We are currently re-examining our approach to world leaders and are soliciting feedback from the public." 

The hearing is expected to begin around 1200 ET. Watch the event here