The US Senate Commerce Committee has voted to add the heads of Google, Facebook and Twitter.
This means that Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are being confronted by senators regarding their policies on a wide variety of content.
One focus will be legal protections that they enjoy in relation to leaving and taking over their platforms.
Disputes over privacy and misinformation can also be challenged.
Republicans and Democrats voted unanimously to call the chief officers on the committee.
However, each side is likely to have different priorities – with some Republican members speaking online about perceived censorship of conservative views, while Democrats focus on competition and misinformation.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz followed the vote, saying, “Never in the history of mankind has there been so much aggregation of power, as much as money and monopoly, that comes from the unrestrained use of power and power.”
The heads of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google testified to a House committee about competition issues and claims of bias.
Currently, social media platforms and other websites are protected from prosecution under Section 230 of the Communications Media Act.
This means, in effect, that platforms are not liable for what their users post if they take things once notified, unlike traditional information history.
Democrats on the Commerce Committee initially objected to their Republican allies’ use of sub-power, but changed their mind for a vote Thursday after widening the scope of the discussion.
The three CEOs were initially invited to appear voluntarily, but declined.
The latest summons is the latest regulatory headache for tech giants, who are facing significant decisions by authorities in the coming weeks.
A July congressional hearing with the companies, plus Amazon, deals with anti-trust issues, alleging that they deliberately eliminated smaller rivals in search of market dominance.
A Congressional report of that incident is expected to be published next week.
The US Department of Justice is understood to be discussing a general anti-conviction case against Google in general with state attorneys – a legal action that could begin early next week.
And similar action is being taken simultaneously abroad.
The draft version of the forthcoming legislation of the European Union allegedly barred tech giants from giving preference to their own products.
The draft Digital Services Act, seen by several news outlets, states that big tech “gatekeepers” may have to share user data with rivals to create a similar playground in some circumstances.
US restrictions on Huawei on national security grounds have created a challenge for the company – one of the world’s largest phone manufacturers – which it says will begin using its own non-Android operating system next year .
This decision is also expected this month.
- United States Senate
- United States of america