Both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were unable to name a leftist individual or entity that they have censored on their platforms during Wednesday’s Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing, entitled, “Does Section 230’s Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?” Google CEO Sundar Pichai successfully provided several examples to Sen. Mike Lee when he posed the question to all three CEOs.
“I don’t see the suppression of high-profile liberal commentators,” noted senator Mike Lee (R-AZ) during Wednesday’s hearing. “So, for example, have you ever censored a Democratic senator? How about President Obama? How about a Democrat presidential candidate? How about Planned Parenthood?”
“Can you name for me one high-profile person or entity from a liberal ideology who you have censored, and what particular action you took?” inquired Lee of the CEOs.
In response to his question, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that he would need to “get a list,” but did not have any names of high-profile left-wing individuals or entities off the top of his head.
“Senator, I can get you a list of some more of this, but there are certainly many examples that your Democratic colleagues object to when a fact-checker might label something a false, they disagree with, or they’re not able to prove,” said the Facebook CEO.
“I get that, I just want to be clear, I’m just asking you if you can name for me one high-profile liberal person or company who you have censored,” said Lee.
“I understand that you’re saying that there are complaints on both sides, but I just want one. One name of one person or one entity.” the senator added.
In response to Lee reiterating his question, Zuckerberg offered essentially the same answer, that he would retrieve “a list,” and noting that people on “both sides of the aisle” complain about his company.
“Senator, I need to think about it and get you more of a list, but there are certainly many issues on both sides of the aisle where people think we are making content moderation decisions that they disagree with,” said Zuckerberg.
“I got that, and I think everybody on this call could agree that they could identify at least five, maybe ten, maybe more high-profile conservative examples,” said Lee, who then asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey the same question.
In response to the question, Dorsey seemed to echo Zuckerberg’s answer, which also did not contain the name of one high-profile left-wing person or entity that has been censored by the social media company.
“We can give a more exhaustive list, but again, we don’t have an understanding of political ideology or accounts,” said Dorsey.
“I’m not asking for an exhaustive list, I’m asking for a single example,” reiterated Lee. “One. Just one individual, one entity, anyone.”
“We’ve taken action on tweets from members of the House for election [misinformation],” said the Twitter CEO.
“Can you identify an example?” asked Lee.
“Yes, two Democratic congresspeople on election [misinformation],” answered Dorsey, to which Lee responded by asking what the names are of both of those individuals.
“I’ll get those names to you,” Dorsey replied, still failing to conjure up a name during the hearing.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who had the most time to prepare as he answered last, was able to successfully provide examples to Sen. Lee.
The Senate hearing on Wednesday examined whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has outlived its usefulness in today’s digital age and ways to address transparency and accountability among big tech companies involving their content moderation practices.