The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation was questioning the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google via video chat about online censorship, with Republicans voicing concerns that the companies discriminate against conservative viewpoints.
Senator Lee argued that content moderation policies were deployed disproportionately against users with conservative ideologies.
Defining what he meant by censorship, the Utah lawmaker said: âWhen I use the word 'censor' here, I'm meaning blocked content, fact check, or labeled content, or demonetised websites of conservative, Republican, or pro-life individuals or groups or companies.â
He added that he does not see the same suppression of high-profile liberal groups or individuals.
CEOs Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, all defended their policies, stating that they apply to anyone that violates platform rules, no matter their political affiliation.
Incredulous Twitter users were quick to pounce on the idea that a sitting Senator believes that flagging untruths or falsities constitutes censorship. Others declared themselves less surprised.
it is absolutely insane that we have a U.S. Senator who believes that these things are "censorship" [let's see if you can actually hear him this time] pic.twitter.com/zXLk8a5a2O
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 28, 2020
The hearing was scheduled to discuss Section 230, a law that protects social media companies from being held responsible for any content published on their platforms.
Republican concerns over social media âcensorshipâ were reinvigorated after Twitter limited the sharing of a controversial unverified New York Post story about Hunter Biden's laptop.