Lawmakers Hammer Tech CEOs for On the internet Disinformation, Absence of Accountability

WASHINGTON—Lawmakers blamed huge technology providers for an array of societal challenges Thursday, excoriating their CEOs for absence of accountability and developing momentum for legislation to weaken the liability shield relished by on the internet platforms.

In a combative Dwelling hearing stretching much more than 5 hours, the main executives of Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Alphabet Inc. and its Google unit were being accused of running social media platforms that sow political discord, spread Covid-19 misinformation and generate a perilous atmosphere for small children.

“Your business product by itself has become the dilemma,” stated Rep. Frank Pallone (D., N.J.), the chairman of the Property Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R. Clean.), the panel’s best Republican, explained to the CEOs, “Your platforms are my major panic as a parent.”

Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc., which owns Google and YouTube, defended their products’ benefits and mentioned damaging information is not worthwhile mainly because it would make their services considerably less captivating.

Much of the hearing focused instantly or indirectly on Portion 230, the law that usually shields on the web platforms from legal responsibility for the content material that their buyers article, but also gives the platforms broad discretion to get rid of that material.