Lawmakers grill Zuckerberg, Dorsey on election-related censoring


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — U.S. senators grilled the leaders of Facebook and Twitter on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about their promise to fight misinformation related to the election.

Many Democrats and Republicans are in rare agreement that social media companies need new rules on how to operate — and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agrees.

“I believe we are well overdue to update the rules for the internet,” he said.

Lawmakers specifically questioned whether regulations should address how social media companies handle users’ privacy and personal data, prevent social media addiction and handle elections.

The leaders of Facebook and Twitter said Tuesday they took unprecedented steps this year to fight election misinformation. Their policies often resulted in flags on President Donald Trump’s own posts.

“Do you believe that label goes far enough to prevent the tweet’s harms when the tweet is still visible and not accurate?” asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

“I do because it’s not just the surface-level label,” answered Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “It points to a collection of news articles; of information and conversation.”

While Democrats question whether that is enough, Republicans like Utah Senator Mike Lee say social media platforms have taken their policies too far.

“There are instances in which your platforms are taking a very distinctively partisan approach and not a neutral one,” Lee said.

Both CEOs admitted their companies have mistakenly flagged or blocked content or users. While lawmakers say more regulations are needed, they also worry about whether government involvement could also create new problems.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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