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Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool via Getty Images

At a Senate hearing Tuesday morning, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey will stress their companies' work to limit online misinformation and will endorse updating tech's prized liability shield as long as Congress doesn't blow it up.

Why it matters: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects online platforms from lawsuits over moderation calls and user-posted content, and many policymakers view amending or even eliminating the law as their best lever to change how companies govern online speech.

Driving the news: The two chief executives will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee via video conference for a hearing entitled "Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election."

  • Democrats have slammed the platforms for letting President Trump spread misinformation about voting processes and results before and after Election Day.
  • Republicans have cried censorship over labels that Facebook and Twitter have added to posts such as Trump's repeated false claims that he won the 2020 election.

Dorsey, per advance testimony shared by Twitter, will:

  • deny that Twitter's employees and content moderation choices are biased against conservatives;
  • run down actions Twitter has taken against misinformation before and since the election, noting that this work remains ongoing; and
  • encourage lawmakers to work with industry and civil society groups to explore modifying Section 230 or writing additional legislation to address concerns, but not eliminate, erode, or add speech-chilling moderation mandates to the law.

Zuckerberg will similarly detail the actions Facebook has taken on misinformation, a company spokesperson said, as well as reiterate the company's support for updating Section 230, such as to add language requiring tech firms to be more transparent about moderation practices or work together to combat problematic material.

  • He'll also call for new federal regulations on privacy, elections and data portability.

Reality check: Whatever Dorsey and Zuckerberg say to kick things off, the hearing is bound to tumble quickly into political theater — likely over litigating claims of censorship in individual instances of certain tweets that contain voting misinformation being labeled or hidden from view.

Between the lines: Close Trump ally Lindsey Graham will preside over the hearing as Judiciary chair.

  • Other Judiciary Republicans include some of the most vocal proponents of the bias-against-conservatives charge, including Sens. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and Marsha Blackburn.
  • Watch for confrontations that will play well with the GOP base in clips from the hearing that members will share online afterward.

Go deeper

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.

What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at record speed, but some experts fear the accelerated regulatory process could interfere with ongoing research about the vaccines.

Why it matters: Even after the first COVID-19 vaccines are deployed, scientific questions will remain about how they are working and how to improve them.