Last week the Senate held a committee hearing with Big Tech CEOs on Section 230.
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., convened the hearing titled, “Does Section 230’s Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?,” last Wednesday, October 28. The hearing was set to examine whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has outlived its usefulness in today’s digital age, examine proposals to modernize the decades-old law, and increase transparency and accountability among big technology companies.
Witnesses featured: Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc., Google, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
Did the hearing give us any sign of hope?
Well… not really!
As we have said before, there are two very distinct categories of criticism about section 230; conservatives claim social media companies that are biased against their political views over-censor far right content, while litigators like us say that the people who are being horribly injured online deserve recourse.
So it’s not really surprising that certain politicians hijacked this important conversation to make a last ditch attempt to sway the elections.
As Carrie posted on Twitter, “THIS HEARING is misinformation.” We were told it would be about Section 230, but instead it devolved almost immediately in to misinforming the American people that the conspiracy of suppressed far-right speech is somehow related to Section 230.
We understand politicians are pissed that it’s presently a teeny bit harder to spread misinformation and disinformation, but could they stop for a SECOND to remember their constituents? Y’know, the ones do not have the ability to hold platforms responsible for harms they facilitate, like child sexual exploitation, stalking, dating app rape…
This was their chance to ask Sundar about how Google puts regular folk’s lives at the mercy of Google’s algorithm rankings – which, for our clients, have been links to revenge porn, Child Sexual Abuse Material, and defamatory websites.
This was their chance to ponder why YouTube’s algorithms repeatedly recommend exponentially more suggestive videos of naked children to pervs.
Or how Instagram is able to spread videos of women being assaulted and murdered.
Or why Match dating apps like Tinder and Grindr enable stalkers and rapists to prey on victims.
As Senator Markey pointed out: “Profits over people is a real problem. Anti-conservative bias is not.” He explained that the issue isn’t too much content being taken down, but too much dangerous content left up and amplified.
Zuckerburg said he hopes experts will also attend future hearings. We agree. We need victims and plaintiff attorneys at hearings showing the harms that 230 prevents redress for, and how victims are left without justice.
Have you been harmed by Big Tech?
Were you sexually assaulted or stalked by someone you met on Match, Tinder, or Hinge?
Were images or videos of you being abused as a child shared on the internet?
We may be able to recover damages.
Click here to contact us and schedule a free call about your case
- Interested in learning more about our work on Section230? Click here to join the fight!
- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas acknowledged our case against Grindr in a major statement, citing our theory that tech companies should not be immune from product liability. Read more.
- Read more about our FCC comment on Trump’s CDA230 Executive Order here.