Fb, Google, Twitter CEOs Set To Testify About Misinformation
Tech CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey will soon have to respond to lawmakers about the rise in misinformation on their platforms and how they plan to address it, as the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing with Facebook, Google on Thursday and Twitter Leader will take place on March 25th.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, speaks during a hearing on July 29, 2020. (Photo by Mandel … [+]
Zuckerberg, Pichai and Dorsey, who run Facebook, Google and Twitter, will testify at a hearing about “misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms,” the House committee announced.
The hearing will further the work of the committee to “Hold Online Platforms Accountable for the Issues on Their Platforms,” Committee Chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (DN.J.), and Subcommittee Chairs, the representatives Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said in a statement.
Legislators pointed to misinformation about electoral fraud as well as the Covid-19 pandemic and the vaccine as particularly worrying.
Tech leaders have already testified before lawmakers for the past several months, including an October hearing with all three CEOs before the Senate Commerce Committee on Section 230, which protects tech companies from legal liability for the content posted by their users.
“Big Tech has not recognized the role they have played in promoting and disseminating blatantly false information to the online audience for far too long. Industry self-regulation has failed, ”said Pallone, Doyle and Schakowsky in a statement. “We need to start changing the incentives that drive social media companies to allow and even encourage misinformation and disinformation.”
93%. According to a Gallup / Knight Foundation study in September, this is the percentage of Americans who say they are very or somewhat concerned with spreading misinformation on the Internet.
The House Judiciary Committee also separately announced plans to investigate Big Tech on Thursday and unveiled a series of antitrust hearings aimed at curbing tech giants’ dominance in developing antitrust laws. The re-investigation will continue the ongoing work of the Antitrust Subcommittee to investigate the technology giants and their monopoly power, including a July hearing with Dorsey, Pichai, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.
Online misinformation and its spread on major social networks have been extensively researched in recent months, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic and in connection with the November elections. Social media companies have taken important steps to curb the spread of false information. For example, Twitter added safeguards to limit sharing of posts flagged for misinformation, and Facebook on Thursday announced new efforts to combat misinformation related to climate change. Despite their efforts, misinformation persists: an October study by the United States’ German Marshall Fund found that engagement for false content producers on Facebook has increased 102% since 2016, while a September study by Oxford University found that Facebook’s third-party fact checkers only intercepted less than one percent of the Covid-19 misinformation videos on the platform.
House to barbecue Facebook, Google, and Twitter CEOs while Washington tries to crack down on disinformation and antitrust law (Washington Post)
Facebook Continues to Fight Misinformation and Plans to Debunk Myths About Climate Change (Forbes)
How Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok Combat Coronavirus Misinformation (Forbes)
Facebook users who interact with misinformation much more often than in 2016 find study results (Forbes)