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Section 230

Google, Facebook and Twitter Defend Themselves as GOP Slams Big Tech and Dems Mock Hearing

Liana Sowa

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Screenshot of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at the hearing

October 30, 2020 – Tech platform companies Google, Facebook, and Twitter said they not in favor of redefining the phrase, “otherwise objectionable,” that has become a key source of controversy in the political firestorm surrounding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The CEOs of the three companies, called to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, were responding to a question from Sen. Shelley Capito, R-West Virginia.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was concerned that removing this phrase would make it more difficult to remove content from Facebook that bullies and harasses.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai agreed, and said saying that they would not have been able to address the dangerous situation surrounding children ingesting Tide pods, or content surrounding the Christchurch mosque massacre of 2019, without this clause in place.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that Twitter is trying to help people feel free enough and safe enough to express themselves on the platform.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, questioned the Silicon Valley executives how much they spent on content moderation and lawsuits. None of the companies had an exact number, but they all estimated more than a billion dollars a year.

Moran said that these efforts wouldn’t be any less in cost for startups and small businesses and that this cost should be carefully considered so new entrants could operate in this sphere.

Facebook supports changes to Section 230, while Google defends the section

In his opening statements, Dorsey also spoke of the importance of optimizing regulations for small businesses. He suggested that platform companies make commitments to new regulation best practices. He also said that new legislative frameworks be made such that tech companies could work collaboratively with government and the people to improve user privacy and experience.

Moran said his legislation would provide the Federal Trade Commission with first time civil penalty authority. When asked if he thought that arrangement would help prevent unfair and deceptive practices more than current frameworks, Zuckerberg said he would need more information but that the  current settlement they have with the FTC should be “quite effective” in ensuring people are protected.

In asking whether changes should be made to Section 230 and why tech companies shouldn’t be regulated more, Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer elicited vague references to transparency in responses from both Zuckerberg and Dorsey.

In his opening statements, Zuckerberg called for a more accountable set of standards that would allow companies to be confident in their regulation processes. He said private companies should not be making so many of these decisions on their own, and that Congress should update the law to create more transparency and separate good from bad actors.

Google’s Pichai stressed that while the low barriers to entry make the internet vulnerable to bad actors, the company’s ability to provide access to so much information is only possible because of Section 230.

Dorsey claimed that the concept of “good faith” was what the hearing was challenging.

Hearing becomes a battleground between Republican and Democratic senators

Many GOP senators, including Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ted Cruz of Texas, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Thune of South Dakota and Cory Gardner of Colorado charged big tech with censoring conservative voices.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., at Wednesday’s hearing

Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Gary Peters of Michigan, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Brian Schatz of Hawaii called the hearing a last-ditch scheme by Republicans to improve their changes in Tuesday’s general election.

Schatz calling the hearing “a sham.” Markey and Peters, contra their GOP counterparts, felt that the tech platform companies hadn’t done enough to censor harmful content.

Cantwell, in response to Wicker’s sentiments about mail-in ballots not being safe, said they were safe.

Thune, in response to Blumenthal claiming the Republicans were trying to “bully and browbeat” the referees in their favor, asked all the big tech companies if they believed they were “refs.” They all said they no.

Section 230

Senate Commerce Committee Advances FCC Nominee Nathan Simington to Floor Debate

Jericho Casper

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on

Screenshot of Sen. Richard Blumenthal from the Senate Commerce Committee meeting

October 30, 2020 – Tech platform companies Google, Facebook, and Twitter said they not in favor of redefining the phrase, “otherwise objectionable,” that has become a key source of controversy in the political firestorm surrounding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The CEOs of the three companies, called to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, were responding to a question from Sen. Shelley Capito, R-West Virginia.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was concerned that removing this phrase would make it more difficult to remove content from Facebook that bullies and harasses.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai agreed, and said saying that they would not have been able to address the dangerous situation surrounding children ingesting Tide pods, or content surrounding the Christchurch mosque massacre of 2019, without this clause in place.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that Twitter is trying to help people feel free enough and safe enough to express themselves on the platform.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, questioned the Silicon Valley executives how much they spent on content moderation and lawsuits. None of the companies had an exact number, but they all estimated more than a billion dollars a year.

Moran said that these efforts wouldn’t be any less in cost for startups and small businesses and that this cost should be carefully considered so new entrants could operate in this sphere.

Facebook supports changes to Section 230, while Google defends the section

In his opening statements, Dorsey also spoke of the importance of optimizing regulations for small businesses. He suggested that platform companies make commitments to new regulation best practices. He also said that new legislative frameworks be made such that tech companies could work collaboratively with government and the people to improve user privacy and experience.

Moran said his legislation would provide the Federal Trade Commission with first time civil penalty authority. When asked if he thought that arrangement would help prevent unfair and deceptive practices more than current frameworks, Zuckerberg said he would need more information but that the  current settlement they have with the FTC should be “quite effective” in ensuring people are protected.

In asking whether changes should be made to Section 230 and why tech companies shouldn’t be regulated more, Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer elicited vague references to transparency in responses from both Zuckerberg and Dorsey.

In his opening statements, Zuckerberg called for a more accountable set of standards that would allow companies to be confident in their regulation processes. He said private companies should not be making so many of these decisions on their own, and that Congress should update the law to create more transparency and separate good from bad actors.

Google’s Pichai stressed that while the low barriers to entry make the internet vulnerable to bad actors, the company’s ability to provide access to so much information is only possible because of Section 230.

Dorsey claimed that the concept of “good faith” was what the hearing was challenging.

Hearing becomes a battleground between Republican and Democratic senators

Many GOP senators, including Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ted Cruz of Texas, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Thune of South Dakota and Cory Gardner of Colorado charged big tech with censoring conservative voices.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., at Wednesday’s hearing

Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Gary Peters of Michigan, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Brian Schatz of Hawaii called the hearing a last-ditch scheme by Republicans to improve their changes in Tuesday’s general election.

Schatz calling the hearing “a sham.” Markey and Peters, contra their GOP counterparts, felt that the tech platform companies hadn’t done enough to censor harmful content.

Cantwell, in response to Wicker’s sentiments about mail-in ballots not being safe, said they were safe.

Thune, in response to Blumenthal claiming the Republicans were trying to “bully and browbeat” the referees in their favor, asked all the big tech companies if they believed they were “refs.” They all said they no.

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Broadband Mapping

In Discussing ‘Broadband and the Biden Administration,’ Trump and Obama Transition Workers Praise Auctions

Liana Sowa

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on

Screenshot from the November 2 Broadband Breakfast Live Online webcast

October 30, 2020 – Tech platform companies Google, Facebook, and Twitter said they not in favor of redefining the phrase, “otherwise objectionable,” that has become a key source of controversy in the political firestorm surrounding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The CEOs of the three companies, called to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, were responding to a question from Sen. Shelley Capito, R-West Virginia.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was concerned that removing this phrase would make it more difficult to remove content from Facebook that bullies and harasses.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai agreed, and said saying that they would not have been able to address the dangerous situation surrounding children ingesting Tide pods, or content surrounding the Christchurch mosque massacre of 2019, without this clause in place.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that Twitter is trying to help people feel free enough and safe enough to express themselves on the platform.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, questioned the Silicon Valley executives how much they spent on content moderation and lawsuits. None of the companies had an exact number, but they all estimated more than a billion dollars a year.

Moran said that these efforts wouldn’t be any less in cost for startups and small businesses and that this cost should be carefully considered so new entrants could operate in this sphere.

Facebook supports changes to Section 230, while Google defends the section

In his opening statements, Dorsey also spoke of the importance of optimizing regulations for small businesses. He suggested that platform companies make commitments to new regulation best practices. He also said that new legislative frameworks be made such that tech companies could work collaboratively with government and the people to improve user privacy and experience.

Moran said his legislation would provide the Federal Trade Commission with first time civil penalty authority. When asked if he thought that arrangement would help prevent unfair and deceptive practices more than current frameworks, Zuckerberg said he would need more information but that the  current settlement they have with the FTC should be “quite effective” in ensuring people are protected.

In asking whether changes should be made to Section 230 and why tech companies shouldn’t be regulated more, Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer elicited vague references to transparency in responses from both Zuckerberg and Dorsey.

In his opening statements, Zuckerberg called for a more accountable set of standards that would allow companies to be confident in their regulation processes. He said private companies should not be making so many of these decisions on their own, and that Congress should update the law to create more transparency and separate good from bad actors.

Google’s Pichai stressed that while the low barriers to entry make the internet vulnerable to bad actors, the company’s ability to provide access to so much information is only possible because of Section 230.

Dorsey claimed that the concept of “good faith” was what the hearing was challenging.

Hearing becomes a battleground between Republican and Democratic senators

Many GOP senators, including Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ted Cruz of Texas, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Thune of South Dakota and Cory Gardner of Colorado charged big tech with censoring conservative voices.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., at Wednesday’s hearing

Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Gary Peters of Michigan, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Brian Schatz of Hawaii called the hearing a last-ditch scheme by Republicans to improve their changes in Tuesday’s general election.

Schatz calling the hearing “a sham.” Markey and Peters, contra their GOP counterparts, felt that the tech platform companies hadn’t done enough to censor harmful content.

Cantwell, in response to Wicker’s sentiments about mail-in ballots not being safe, said they were safe.

Thune, in response to Blumenthal claiming the Republicans were trying to “bully and browbeat” the referees in their favor, asked all the big tech companies if they believed they were “refs.” They all said they no.

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Section 230

GOP Senators Call Platforms ‘Publishers’ and Want to Strip Section 230 Protections, and Dems Aren’t Fans Either

Liana Sowa

Published

on

Photo from the hearing room in Dirksen Senate Office Building by Liana Sowa

October 30, 2020 – Tech platform companies Google, Facebook, and Twitter said they not in favor of redefining the phrase, “otherwise objectionable,” that has become a key source of controversy in the political firestorm surrounding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The CEOs of the three companies, called to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, were responding to a question from Sen. Shelley Capito, R-West Virginia.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was concerned that removing this phrase would make it more difficult to remove content from Facebook that bullies and harasses.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai agreed, and said saying that they would not have been able to address the dangerous situation surrounding children ingesting Tide pods, or content surrounding the Christchurch mosque massacre of 2019, without this clause in place.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that Twitter is trying to help people feel free enough and safe enough to express themselves on the platform.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, questioned the Silicon Valley executives how much they spent on content moderation and lawsuits. None of the companies had an exact number, but they all estimated more than a billion dollars a year.

Moran said that these efforts wouldn’t be any less in cost for startups and small businesses and that this cost should be carefully considered so new entrants could operate in this sphere.

Facebook supports changes to Section 230, while Google defends the section

In his opening statements, Dorsey also spoke of the importance of optimizing regulations for small businesses. He suggested that platform companies make commitments to new regulation best practices. He also said that new legislative frameworks be made such that tech companies could work collaboratively with government and the people to improve user privacy and experience.

Moran said his legislation would provide the Federal Trade Commission with first time civil penalty authority. When asked if he thought that arrangement would help prevent unfair and deceptive practices more than current frameworks, Zuckerberg said he would need more information but that the  current settlement they have with the FTC should be “quite effective” in ensuring people are protected.

In asking whether changes should be made to Section 230 and why tech companies shouldn’t be regulated more, Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer elicited vague references to transparency in responses from both Zuckerberg and Dorsey.

In his opening statements, Zuckerberg called for a more accountable set of standards that would allow companies to be confident in their regulation processes. He said private companies should not be making so many of these decisions on their own, and that Congress should update the law to create more transparency and separate good from bad actors.

Google’s Pichai stressed that while the low barriers to entry make the internet vulnerable to bad actors, the company’s ability to provide access to so much information is only possible because of Section 230.

Dorsey claimed that the concept of “good faith” was what the hearing was challenging.

Hearing becomes a battleground between Republican and Democratic senators

Many GOP senators, including Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ted Cruz of Texas, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Thune of South Dakota and Cory Gardner of Colorado charged big tech with censoring conservative voices.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., at Wednesday’s hearing

Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Gary Peters of Michigan, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Brian Schatz of Hawaii called the hearing a last-ditch scheme by Republicans to improve their changes in Tuesday’s general election.

Schatz calling the hearing “a sham.” Markey and Peters, contra their GOP counterparts, felt that the tech platform companies hadn’t done enough to censor harmful content.

Cantwell, in response to Wicker’s sentiments about mail-in ballots not being safe, said they were safe.

Thune, in response to Blumenthal claiming the Republicans were trying to “bully and browbeat” the referees in their favor, asked all the big tech companies if they believed they were “refs.” They all said they no.

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