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Tech CEOs to testify before US Congress


Tech CEOs to testify before US Congress

Big Tech Congress
Photo: AP

The CEOs of Alphabet, Facebook and Twitter will testify today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Leading US tech companies have come under fire recently for the spread of misinformation on their respective platforms.

Expect Congress to pursue legislative amendments to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which currently shields tech companies from liability for the content posted on their platforms. Despite significant divergences between Democrats and Republicans on the reasons why reform is necessary, there is bipartisan consensus that tech companies need to be reined in. Republicans are likely to push to amend Section 230 (c)(2), which stipulates that firms must act in good faith when removing content. Democrats on the other hand have focused their efforts on curbing deliberate misinformation (disinformation) that could foment civil unrest. If Congress is unable to find a compromise, the Supreme Court could weigh in.

Congress’s decision to amend Section 230 will place significant financial burden upon the tech industry if implemented. Smaller firms could be ravaged by the legal costs of fighting lawsuits once immunity is lifted. Meanwhile, titans like Facebook and Twitter will likely face significant adversity. ‘Big Tech’ is likely to offer increased self-regulation to preempt Section 230 reforms, but this is will not deter Congress’s determination.

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