US Congress Seeks Internet Censorship

Disinformation is one of the biggest problems facing social media platforms and for which Washington and other governments are actively seeking solutions.

At the new hearing of Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai before the United States Congress on Thursday, the representatives they asked the three CEOs to censor the Internet more. This measure should allow them to control the political content that is transmitted on their platforms, thereby also Congress promises legislative retaliation if they do not comply.

In the audience, members of Congress accused to Twitter, Google and Facebook, led by Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg respectively, of causing harm offline to children, public health and democracy.

Representatives believe these three platforms were instrumental in the Jan.6 assault on the Capitol, which led to a new indictment against former President Donald Trump. If Dorsey appears to have acknowledged that his site played any role in this unfortunate event, Zuckerberg and Pichai have rejected the accusation by elected officials.

The hearing, convened by the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Democrat Frank Pallone of New Jersey, and the two chairs of his subcommittees, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) , was a manifestation of the growing authoritarian effort in Congress to requisition the control that these companies exercise over political discourse for their own interests and political objectives. In fact, this is the third time in less than five months that the US Congress has convened CEOs of social media companies.

The goal is to pressure them and force them to censor more content on their platforms. According to Democratic representatives, Twitter, Google and Facebook have failed in their duty to censor political voices and ideological content that they consider contradictory or harmful.

Calling for more censorship, they accompanied their request with threats of impending legislative sanctions (including possible revocation of immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act) to enforce compliance with the law.

Republican members largely limited their complaints to reverse concern. According to them, these social media giants were overly silencing conservative voices. to promote a liberal political agenda. Several Republicans have insisted that this editorial censorship obsoletes the immunity that technology companies enjoy under Section 230.

They believe that by censoring the internet even more, social media platforms now act as publishers and no longer simply neutral transmitters of information.

Some Republicans have joined Democrats in calling for more censorship, but more specifically in the name of protecting children from mental disorders and predators rather than ideological conformity.

While Zuckerberg and Pichai showed no signs of exasperation With representatives on Thursday, Dorsey appeared to be at the end of his patience and tolerance for the censorship demands. At one point, he bluntly asserted that it is not the role of governments and social media platforms to be arbiters of the truth. "I don't think we should be the arbiters of the truth, and I don't think the government should be," he said.

According to some analysts, it is essential not to lose sight of how truly "despotic" these audiences are. It's easy to ignore, they say, because it's gotten used to political leaders successfully demanding that social media companies censor the internet at will.

As a reminder, Parler, which at the time was one of the most downloaded apps in the country, was pulled from the Apple and Google Play stores in January, later denied internet service by Amazon, after two very upset Democratic members go to the House of Representatives. The representatives publicly demanded it.

During the latest "procedural" hearing organized by Congress, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) explicitly stated that the complaint from Democrats is not that these companies censor too much, but not enough.

 


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  1.   Mercuro Chrome said

    "... the complaint of the Democrats is not that these companies censor too much, but not enough." ... So that we understand it well: the complaint of the "Democrats" is that they do not completely censor the political opposite. On the contrary, it must be censored, silenced, and ultimately socially annihilated.

    Someone once said, referring to the arrival of fascist currents in the United States: "The fascists of tomorrow will call themselves anti-fascists."