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Today: The CEOs of major social media platforms are gearing up to testify before a House committee tomorrow on misinformation around COVID-19 and the recent Capitol riot. Meanwhile, a group of 12 state attorneys general are pressuring Facebook and Twitter to tackle COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, and two lawmakers reintroduced legislation aimed at making internet-connected devices safer for the consumer.
TECH HEARING TIME AGAIN: The CEOs of the country’s biggest social media platforms will testify Thursday before a Congress eager to press them on their roles spreading misinformation related to coronavirus and the lead-up to the deadly insurrection at the Capitol in January.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai will appear remotely in front of two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees set to take a markedly different tone from previous hearings.
“We are done with conversation,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), chairwoman of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, said at an event Monday. “We are now moving ahead with regulation and legislation, and that is inevitable. We want them to understand how seriously they better take this.”
What to expect: The hearing will likely focus on the part the massive platforms play in spreading potentially dangerous misinformation – ranging from election result conspiracies to lies about the coronavirus vaccine – and a suite of proposed and forthcoming legislative fixes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives platforms liability protection from content posted by third parties and allows them to safely moderate.
All three companies have highlighted their work on content moderation and new policies recently,…