• Pole Smokers Mark Zuckerberg And Jack Dorsey Are Gonna Have A Rotten Day As They Testify Before The Senate

    From Drain The Swamp@socialist-asshats@facebook.com to alt.politics.media,rec.sport.football.college,alt.politics.democrats.senate,alt.gossip.celebrities,sac.politics on Wed Oct 28 10:53:11 2020
    From Newsgroup: alt.politics.media

    There are many, many stories about the ill-fated collision of
    circumstances: the electric storm that sank the hydrogen-powered
    Hindenburg zeppelin, the Hollywood greed and water-logged
    scripts that produced the third, fourth and fifth Pirates of the
    Caribbean films.

    Here’s another timely one: Twitter TWTR +4.6% CEO Jack Dorsey
    and Facebook FB +2.2% CEO Mark Zuckerberg must testify before
    Congress Wednesday morning less than a week before the
    presidential election—a moment seen as a watershed event for
    their companies—and two weeks after both social media giants
    received widespread Republican criticism over their handling of
    a controversial New York Post story at the heart of President
    Trump’s last-ditch effort to turnaround his campaign.

    The testimony is expected to be an event short on substance and
    long on drama. “Members of Congress will have the opportunity to
    ask serious questions to some of the most powerful people on the
    face of the planet. Instead, they—most notably the
    Republicans—will perform political kabuki theater in the lead up
    to the hotly contested election,” says Graham Brookie, director
    of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. “That’s
    probably a diss to kabuki theater, which is actually an art

    Dorsey and Zuckerberg will be in front of the GOP-led Senate
    Commerce Committee, which has pursued an aggressive timeline in
    coordinating the CEOs’ appearance. (Along with Dorsey and
    Zuckerberg, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai will also testify, though
    he is in a slightly different position than the other two. While
    Alphabet’s YouTube is certainly another huge social media
    platform, it hasn’t drawn the same type of Republican blowback
    recently, so Pichai will probably escape some of the blows
    that’ll fall on Dorsey and Zuckerberg.) The Republican leading
    Wednesday’s session, Sen. Roger Wicker, of Mississippi,
    authorized subpoenas for the CEOs in early October and urged
    that the testimony happen before the Nov. 3 election.

    The putative reason for summoning the three men is to discuss
    Section 230, the 24-year-old federal legislation that grants
    broad immunity to online companies against lawsuits stemming
    from what appears on their websites and has allowed those
    businesses to grow from seedlings into multi-multi-billion-
    dollar firms.

    Both sides of the aisle think Section 230 needs updating.
    Democrats believe social media companies need to do more to
    police misinformation and toxic content on their platforms and
    want to change Section 230 to force them to do that.
    Presidential nominee Joe Biden is on board, telling the New York
    Times NYT +0.2% editorial board in January the legislation
    should be “revoked, immediately.” Meanwhile, Republicans believe
    social media companies are already doing too much policing and
    have longstanding gripes against Facebook and Twitter over
    perceived censorship.

    But the conversation between lawmakers and the CEOs on Wednesday
    won’t really be about Section 230. It’ll be much about the
    Republican senators having one final, public opportunity to
    accuse the platforms of suppressing conservative media. And they
    were bound to come in hot even if they hadn’t spent the past few
    weeks stewing about how Twitter and Facebook treated the Post’s
    unverified investigation into Biden’s son Hunter.

    About two weeks ago, Twitter and Facebook reduced the spread of
    the Post’s initial story about Hunter, a move that drew
    immediate Republican condemnation. The Post’s reporting has
    sparked a blossoming alternate reality among conservative media
    outlets in which Biden and his son Hunter are at the center of a
    complex story, one possibly as ficitous as the Flying Dutchman.
    (Non-partisan outlets have largely been unable confirm the
    allegations against the Bidens.) Trump hopes the conspiracy
    theorizing will lead to a late boost in the polls, similar to
    what contributed to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss. It’s seen as
    the president’s best, last hope, and Republicans are none too
    pleased that Twitter and Facebook viewed the Post story as
    misinformation and tamped down on it.

    The GOP also worries what could happen next week: that Twitter
    and Facebook could take further action to limit pro-Trump
    stories during the election or immediately after it. Twitter and
    Facebook have already publicly announced a number of steps
    around combating misinformation—much pro-Trump content is
    exactly that—including applying fact-check labels to posts,
    cutting back on political ads and rolling out information about
    how to vote.

    These fears and perceived slights are what will fuel the
    dialogue in today’s hearing on Section 230 as senators come
    ready to unload fully on Zuckerberg and Dorsey. There’s some
    complicating irony to the situation. The GOP should be trying to
    leave Section 230 alone. “Revoking or modifying Section 230 is
    not going to get the president or conservatives what they want,”
    says Shannon McGregor, senior researcher at the Center of
    Information, Technology, and Public Life at the University of
    North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Instead, getting rid of Section 230
    could force Facebook and Twitter to further cut back on what
    conservatives can say as they fear greater liability for the
    messages spread on the sites. “It just seems to be the threat
    that they could come up with instead of anything more

    A few people in Washington have offered more concrete
    suggestions. Republican Sen. John Thune, of South Dakota, and
    Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz, of Hawaii, earlier in June
    introduced legislation that would change Section 230 and force
    social media to be more transparent with content moderation
    policies and move quickly to take down content deemed illegal by
    a court. And the bi-partisan Day One Project has a newly issued
    policy report on Section 230 authored by Matt Perault,
    Facebook’s former director of public policy and now the director
    of Duke University’s Center on Science and Technology Policy.
    Among other suggestions, the report advocates for the federal
    government to criminalize some types of toxic speech online,
    like the kind intended to supress votes and incite violence, and
    then hold digital businesses responsible for keeping those
    conversations off their platforms.

    “Section 230 provides some really important protections for
    types of online expecression that are helpful in our world,”
    says Perault. “We have the mechanisms for dealing with some of
    the most problematic content without gutting Section 230.”

    Once Dorsey and Zuckerberg get done testifying Wednesday, they
    only have a short respite. Next week is the election and the
    possible unrest afterward. Beyond that, they’re already have
    another date set with Washington: Following Facebook and
    Twitter’s halt on the Post’s Biden investigation, the Republican-
    led Senate Judiciary Committee issued fresh subpoenas for Dorsey
    and Zuckerberg after a unamious 12-0 vote, demanding the CEOs
    appear and justify their companies’ actions. They’ll do
    that—once again—two weeks after the presidential election on
    Nov. 17.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2020/10/27/mark- zuckerberg-and-jack-dorsey-are-gonna-have-a-rotten-day-as-they- testify-before-the-senate/#7880921e5fdd

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