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Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) bashed the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday over the premise of their hearing with technology leaders about how content is moderated on social media.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey appeared virtually before the committee — whose purpose was to question the three on alleged big-tech censorship, plus the manner in which their websites have tried to deal with hate speech, extremist messages, and disinformation about the 2020 election and the coronavirus.
When Markey got his turn for questions, he began by railing against President Donald Trump, the GOP and the “propaganda parrots on Fox News…pedaling a myth” of anti-conservative bias. He accused the GOP of feeding a “false narrative” about censorship instead of focusing on the need to counteract hate speech and election interference.
“Here’s the truth: violence and hate speech online are real problems. Anti-conservative bias is not a problem,” he said. “The issue is not that the companies before us today are taking too many posts down. The issue is they’re leaving too many dangerous posts up. In fact, they’re amplifying harmful content so that it spreads like wildfire and torches our democracy.”
When Markey got to his questions, he pressed Zuckerberg on what will Facebook do if Trump spreads foreign disinformation pertaining to the election. He then asked whether Facebook will take down any calls by Trump for armed poll watchers, or if Facebook will do anything to curb the spread of threatening content from extremist groups.
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