Big Tech tyrants were given fair warning, and now it’s time for them to face the music, as four of tech’s CEOs have been called to give testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee.
“The Senate Commerce Committee voted to authorize subpoenas forcing testimony from Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerbeg, Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google,” The Wall Street Journal wrote. “Senators cited the need to review Section 230, a legal provision that grants the companies legal immunity in managing content on their sites, as well as privacy and other issues.”
Senate Commerce Chair Roger Wicker (R-MS) specifically addressed the hearing’s importance by noting the upcoming election:
“On the eve of a momentous and highly charged election, it is imperative that this committee of jurisdiction and the American people receive a full accounting from the heads of these companies about their content moderation practices.”
“I fear that Section 230’s sweeping liability protections for Big Tech are stifling the true diversity of political discourse on the internet,” the GOP chair warned, according to Politico. “This is not a partisan issue.”
The official committee website observed that “the Committee unanimously approved authorizations to issue subpoenas.”
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the committee, had reportedly objected to the subpoenas at first, until Mr. Wicker “expanded their scope to include privacy issues,” The Journal explained. Cantwell did appear to object to conservative’s support for defending free speech, however, suggesting she did not want a “chilling effect” on those who are “trying to crack down on hate speech and misinformation about Covid during a pandemic.”
A top staffer for Wicker reportedly wrote in a mid-September staff email that an ultimatum had been sent to Big Tech leadership. The message was a clear warning shot: “[U]nless we receive a very prompt affirmative response, we will be issuing the subpoenas,” Politico summarized. “The session would address a 1996 law [Section 230] that has protected tech platforms from lawsuits over content their users post, the subject of increasing scrutiny in recent years,” noted later in the piece.
The staff email describing an ultimatum for Big Tech CEO’s had been revealed only a day after the Trump White House hosted a roundtable to discuss impending “concrete legal steps to protect an open Internet and a free society.” Attorney General William Barr also announced at the roundtable that the DOJ “has sent to Congress proposed legislation to reform Section 230.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your local representative and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form and help us hold Big Tech accountable.