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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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.

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.

Go deeper

Social media platforms muzzle Trump after Capitol melee

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all took their strongest actions yet to block President Trump after his messages egged on misinformation-fueled mobs storming the Capitol Wednesday.

Yes, but: Many critics say the social media companies bear some responsibility for the day's chaos for not reining in Trump sooner and harder — and the brief suspensions fell short of calls for the networks to permanently ban Trump's account for repeated rule violations.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 6, 2021 - Technology

Twitter locks Trump out over election fraud tweets amid Capitol siege

Twitter logo. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

After Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Twitter removed three of the president's tweets and locked his account for 12 hours, saying it may ban him if he doesn't stop breaking its rules with his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Why it matters: It's Twitter's strongest action against the president's account to date. A number of groups have called on Facebook and Twitter to fully suspend Trump's accounts.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening that it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: New documents released last week showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment. Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.