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What You Missed at the Big Tech Senate Hearing

The CEOS of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were put in the hot seat on Wednesday during the Senate tech hearings. If you haven’t been following the news, here’s a breakdown of what is going on and how the hearings went.

Why was there a Senate Hearing?

The Senate Commerce Committee hearing was to deliberate the tech giant’s content moderation practices. The top executives of Google (Sundar Pichai), Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), and Twitter (Jack Dorsey) testified, on a law, Section 230. This law does not prohibit social media sites from being held liable for photos, posts, and videos they allow or remove. The government and members of the Senate committee believe the law is outdated and should be updated to fit the current times. The lawmakers argue that the companies are controlling the information shared online.

What did you miss?

Unfortunately, being so close to an election, it became a heated conversation that drew complaints from Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats brought up points of the tech giants needing to patrol their sites and services. Republican Senate committee members brought heated criticisms that the companies should back-off of patrolling political posts and speech.

The basic consensus from all three CEO’s was that there should be more transparency in how they operate. When the Section 203 law was originally created, no one could have foreseen the influence and role that social media would play in our lives. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg even agreed the laws should likely be updated.

Lastly, they all tried to set the record straight that they do not have political bias. Since the last election, there are been updates to their content review processes and removing harmful, disinformation or threatening content.

There are genuine concerns that everyone should have with these tech companies and it is all a part of the growing pains of a new media, internet. We ran into this with print, the yellow press and with tv’s influence over elections. The only way we can deal with the legitimate concerns regarding market monopolies, whether these companies are considered publishers, and their corporate responsibility is to apply the same rules and guidance no matter your political party.

– Shane Ragiel, Sr. Director of Strategy, Chacka Marketing

Time will tell if there will be any true changes to how social media’s content moderation is handled and if the laws will catch-up. View the entire four-hour hearing here. Any comments or thought? We’d love to chat. Fill out the form below.

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