Nov. 17 — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will testify in the Senate on Tuesday to answer questions about how their social platforms handled the spread of information during the 2020 election campaign.
Both platforms took steps to curb the spread of misinformation for weeks and months before Election Day, some of which were criticized by both Democratic and Republican supporters.
Zuckerberg and Dorsey will answer questions from the Senate judiciary committee, beginning at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday. The panel hearing is titled, “Censorship, Suppression and the 2020 election.”
The pair is expected to be questioned about how their platforms moderate content and how their strategies intersected with the 2020 campaign.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies remotely at a hearing on October 28 to discuss potential reforms of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI/Pool
Last month, Republicans on the committee voted 12-0 to subpoena both CEOs to testify about what they called “suppression” and “censorship” of two articles published by the New York Post in October that contained inflammatory and unproven accusations about President-elect Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
Facebook flagged the article for third-party fact-checking and Twitter initially blocked links to the story altogether, but later reversed course.
Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter have come under increased scrutiny this year amid accusations of censorship — mostly from Republicans, including President Donald Trump.
Zuckerberg and Dorsey also testified in the Senate late last month, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai for a hearing about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social platforms from liability by saying they are mere conduits for user content and are under no obligation to moderate.
During that hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, particularly criticized Dorsey for Twitter’s handling of the New York Post articles.
The panel is also expected to ask Zuckerberg and Dorsey about content moderation policies that could potentially influence elections and other moves to block information and flag it for fact-checking.
During and beyond the presidential campaign, Twitter has repeatedly flagged Trump’s tweets that contain inaccurate or misleading information. They included tweets in which he attempted to claim victory in key battleground states, as well as unfounded accusations of voter fraud and misconduct.