Facebook and Twitter CEOs Expected to Testify at House Hearing on Handling of Coronavirus Misinformation and Violent Content as Early as March

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in 2018. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter are in talks with House lawmakers to testify at a hearing as early as next month, according to people familiar with the plans.

Facebook has discussed making chief Mark Zuckerberg available to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to two people, as has Twitter and its chief Jack Dorsey, one of the people said. Committee leaders are scrutinizing the platforms’ handling of coronavirus misinformation and violent content in the wake of the Capitol riot.

The exact focus of the hearing is not yet clear. House E&C Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) last month announced plans to investigate what role the platforms’ played in the storming of the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters. The committee, which has broad jurisdiction over a range of technology and health issues, has separately scrutinized social media companies’ efforts to combat Covid-19 misinformation, particularly anti-vaccine content.

A firm date has not yet been set for the session, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss private talks, but it could come as early as March.

The line-up for the hearing may also be in flux. The panel and companies have discussed having Twitter legal chief Vijaya Gadde and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki testify alongside Zuckerberg, with Gadde potentially appearing in Dorsey’s stead, according to a third person familiar with the talks.

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SOURCE: Politico, Cristiano Lima

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