3 things we learned from the latest Big Tech Senate grilling

The CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter had to answer painful questions from the Senate regarding their content moderation decisions.


October 29, 2020

The CEOs of Google (Sundar Pichai), Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), and Twitter (Jack Dorsey) tuned into a virtual Senate hearing on Wednesday.

The hearing was meant to cover a piece of internet legislation known as Section 230, which exempts information service providers (e.g., social networks) from liability for what shows up on their platforms.

Per CNN, “courts have repeatedly accepted Section 230 as a defense against claims of defamation, negligence and other allegations” since the law was passed in 1996.

Here are 3 things we learned during the hearing:

1. Tech leaders believe Section 230 is valuable

Dorsey said removing the law would stifle innovation as new startups would have fewer resources to moderate speech; Zuckerberg echoed the importance of the law, which ensured platforms retained values “like free expression and openness.”

2. But they want to see it updated

Dorsey proposed that Section 230 be expanded to require platforms to explain their content moderation decision-making processes; Zuckerberg argued that legislators should help determine what is or is not acceptable.

3. Jack Dorsey has officially joined the Mt. Rushmore of Beards

After years of hard work and a complete disregard for facial hygiene, Twitter’s CEO has achieved beard immortality.

He joins Harrison Ford (The Fugitive), Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump) and music super-producer Rick Rubin on the official monument:

(This work of art is from The Hustle’s Malary Lee)

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