Senate committee will subpoena Facebook, Twitter, Google CEOs to testify

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Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai are going back to Washington.

The Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to approve a plan to subpoena the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google for a hearing on the legal immunities that protect the biggest names in Silicon Valley.

The hearing will focus on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech giants like Twitter from being held liable for the content their users post, and how they moderate it.

The panel’s top Democrat Maria Cantwell, who opposed the move last week, saying she was against using “the committee’s serious subpoena power for a partisan effort 40 days before an election,” changed her mind and voted to approve the move.

“I actually can’t wait to ask Mr. Zuckerberg further questions,” Cantwell said. “I welcome the debate about 230.”

On Thursday, committee chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said Section 230’s “sweeping liability protections” are stifling diversity of political discourse on the internet.

“After extending an invite to these executives, I regret that they have again declined to participate and answer questions about issues that are so visible and urgent to the American people,” Wicker said.

The executives recently appeared before Capitol Hill lawmakers to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel.

The committee has been investigating Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google to see whether their business practices hurt smaller rivals. The results of the probe may arrive as soon as Monday.

With Post wires. 

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