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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23, 2019. Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Congress on Thursday announced two tech-related hearings — one featuring major tech CEOs and another meant to kick off new antitrust legislation.

What's happening: On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a hearing about misinformation on online platforms.

  • On Feb. 25, the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee will kick off the first in a series of hearings meant to explore competition for the digital economy.

The big picture: After a busy start of the new Congress with a deadly riot and impeachment proceedings, Congress is setting its sights back to reeling in Big Tech.

  • Congress has been looking to legislate tech policy for years now, but calls for action on misinformation intensified after the deadly Capitol riot. At the same time, Big Tech companies are under multiple antitrust investigations in the U.S. and abroad, and the Senate has already started considering new tech antitrust bills.

What they're saying: "Whether it be falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine or debunked claims of election fraud, these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” Democratic leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said in a release.

  • The Judiciary Committee hearing kicks off a major legislative series and the start of the committee preparing to roll out new antitrust bills, a committee aide said.
  • Witnesses will include former FTC lawyers, advocates, economists and at least one executive from an affected third party who claims to have been negatively impacted by a Big Tech company.

Go deeper

Tech giants list principles for handling harmful content

Photo: Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Nine of the world's biggest tech companies have come together to establish an industry framework for handling harmful content and conduct online.

Why it matters: Tech companies, facing a threat from U.S. lawmakers who are considering changing the rules around what content they are liable for on their platforms, are eager to win back public trust.

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."