Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, on Tuesday said that he believes Facebook has made a habit of giving in to conservative users’ pressure.
“I’m very concerned that in fact, Facebook seems to have a record of making accommodations and caving to conservative pressure,” Mr. Blumenthal said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. “And the president has tried to use an executive order on Section 230 to again bully or browbeat and exert pressure on you and others in this industry. They’re, in effect, working the refs and they’re winning.”
At the hearing with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Mr. Blumenthal told the social media executives he was worried that the social media platforms’ potential inaction against content he deems inappropriate could affect the upcoming run-off elections for Georgia’s senate seats.
“We’re in the middle of another election. This election in Georgia could determine, in fact, which party controls the United States Senate,” Mr. Blumenthal said to Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Dorsey. “I’m concerned that both of your companies are in fact backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation, exactly the same kind of voter suppression tactic that existed in the last election and that you are in fact reducing content modifications.”
Mr. Zuckerberg wrote in testimony to the Judiciary Committee that Facebook placed warnings or removed 150 million pieces of content surrounding the November election.
Both Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Dorsey responded to Mr. Blumenthal that they would continue to follow their policies that govern their content moderation practices as the Georgia run-off elections approach.
• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at email@example.com.
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