Monday Brief for 22 March 2021

Five Questions Congress Should Ask Tech CEOs

What’s New: On Thursday, two subcommittees of the House Energy & Commerce Committee are teaming up to discuss “the misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.”

Why This Matters: This is the first time Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai will be testifying since 6 January insurrections at the U.S. Capitol — an attack spurred on by digital and offline disinformation campaigns about the 2020 presidential election. 

Key Points:

“This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and the chairs of the Communications and Technology and Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittees, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a statement. “For far too long, big tech has failed to acknowledge the role they’ve played in fomenting and elevating blatantly false information to its online audiences. Industry self-regulation has failed. We must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.”

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