Republican senators on Thursday passed a motion to hear the bosses of Facebook and Twitter, whom they accuse of bias for limiting the sharing of controversial articles about Democrat Joe Biden, Donald Trump’s presidential rival in the November 3. The date of the testimony of the two leaders has not been determined. The 12 Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, have spoken in favor of a hearing of Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook and Jack Dorsey, the founder and boss of Twitter.
The 10 elected Democrats on the committee boycotted the meeting to protest against the confirmation vote of Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the Supreme Court of the United States, which was held just before. Despite the abstention from Democrats, Mr. Graham felt that there was “A great interest for the opposing camp in bringing in social media managers to answer questions on their platforms. “ Twitter and Facebook drew the wrath of Donald Trump and his allies last week for restricting access to tabloid articles New York Post containing purported emails on a computer of Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic White House candidate.
Google also in the viewfinder
For Mr. Trump’s backers, these messages support accusations that Hunter Biden used his father’s position, when Joe Biden was Vice President of the United States, to further his business in Ukraine. But judging the origin and veracity of the documents suspicious, the two social networks had reduced their visibility. Executives at Facebook and Twitter are already scheduled to testify next week, alongside Google boss Sundar Pichai, before the Senate Commerce Committee.
They will be asked about Section 230 of the “Communications Decency Act”, seen as the cornerstone of free speech online by some, but too easy for platforms to shirk their responsibilities by others. With less than two weeks before the US presidential election, political pressure on the US tech giants is increasing. The Trump administration and a dozen American states in particular on Tuesday launched proceedings against Google for abuse of dominant position.