Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will participate in a hearing on misinformation and disinformation on March 25, according to committee Chair Frank Pallone of New Jersey and fellow Democratic Reps. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.
“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,” the lawmakers said in a statement Thursday. “This hearing will continue the committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation. 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.”
The lawmakers said “industry self-regulation has failed” and that the committee will begin the work of “changing incentives” that are pushing the social media companies to foster misinformation and disinformation.
Congressional hearings have become a regular occurrence for Mr. Zuckerberg, Mr. Pichai and Mr. Dorsey, who will be participating remotely. Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Dorsey both participated in hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in November and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in October. Mr. Pichai also participated in the October hearing.
Congress has previously called the CEOs to discuss policies such as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and events such as the 2020 election and their platforms’ actions. Lawmakers, however, have previously used the hearings to discuss a range of other issues.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee‘s announcement said the hearing will be led by subcommittees focused on communications and technology and consumer protection and commerce. The committee announced that more details about the hearing would be made public in the week before it occurs.
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