CEOs To Testify As Facebook And Twitter’s Liability Protection At Risk After Alleged Censorship

Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are set to testify following the allegations that their platforms have been openly censoring conservative views, according to Fox News.

“Section 230 gave content providers protection from liability to remove and moderate content that they or their users consider to be ‘obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable,'”

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Roger Wicker is expected to say in his opening statement Wednesday provided to Fox News.

“This liability shield has been pivotal in protecting online platforms from endless and potentially ruinous lawsuits. But it has also given these internet platforms the ability to control, stifle, and even censor content in whatever manner meets their respective ‘standards.’ The time has come for that free pass to end.”

“Eroding the foundation of Section 230 could collapse how we communicate on the Internet, leaving only a small number of giant and well-funded technology companies,” Twitter CEO Dorsey said in written testimony.

“We should also be mindful that undermining Section 230 will result in far more removal of online speech and impose severe limitations on our collective ability to address harmful content and protect people online.”

More from Fox News:

Republicans have long been concerned that Big Tech was biased against conservative viewpoints, but Twitter’s effort to shut down the spread of the New York Post’s reporting on emails allegedly from Hunter Biden’s laptop was the final straw, prompting lawmakers to summon Google, Facebook and Twitter CEOs to testify before the election.

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At the heart of Wednesday’s hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee is whether social media giants should still be afforded liability protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Republican critics believe that Twitter, Facebook and Google should no longer be shielded as a neutral platform when they operate more like a publisher, but not all Democrats — including the Section 230 co-author Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., — agree.

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., has co-sponsored legislation to reform Section 230 to better define what tech companies can censor and to disincentivize them from editorializing posts with warning labels and fact-checks, which has happened in recent months to President Trump’s tweets.