Tech CEOs back for more Hill testimony right before election
The CEOs of Twitter, Google and Facebook will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on October 28, six days before Election Day, a committee aide confirmed to Axios.
Driving the news: On Thursday, the committee authorized subpoenas for Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai and Twitter's Jack Dorsey. By Friday evening, the companies and the committee worked out a date, first reported by Politico.
Between the lines: All three companies offered to testify the week of November 16, after the election, and the committee insisted on an earlier date before the election, a source familiar with the situation told Axios.
- As Axios has previously reported, the White House has pushed Congress's myriad efforts to try to rein in big tech companies in the lead up to the election.
Details: The hearing is expected to focus on efforts to modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the law that protects tech platforms from liability for user-contributed content.
- Republicans want to make the liability shield contingent on changes in what they charge is anti-conservative bias by the companies, while Democrats hope to pressure them to tighten user privacy and change what they see as monopolistic practices.
What they're saying: Twitter confirmed CEO Jack Dorsey would be testifying before the committee on October 28.
- ."@jack has voluntarily agreed to testify virtually before the @SenateCommerce Committee on October 28 — less than a week before the US Presidential Election.It must be constructive & focused on what matters most to the American people: how we work together to protect elections."
Our thought bubble: Squeezing this hearing in before the election gives it a political spin and could damage bipartisan efforts to revise Section 230 by making it tougher for the parties to find common ground.