Senate Commerce Committee Hearing

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing

Is Thank you Now Uh Um Thank you but let’s make sure Speech One day Okay What would you be doing today This hearing will come to order Senator cantwell is going to Join us in person but she joins us Remotely at the beginning of the hearing We have convened this morning to Continue the work of this committee to Ensure that the internet remains a free And open space And that the laws that govern it are Sufficiently up to date The internet is a great american success Story Thanks in large part to the regulatory And legal structure Our government put in place but we Cannot take that success for granted The openness and freedom of the internet Are under attack Soon we will hear from the ceos of three Of the most prominent Internet platforms facebook google and Twitter Our witnesses include mr jack dorsey of Twitter mr sundar pikai

Of alphabet incorporated and its Subsidiary google and mr Mark zuckerberg of facebook On october 1st this committee voted on a Bipartisan and unanimous basis To approve the issuance of subpoenas After discussions among representatives Of the companies and the committee The witnesses agreed to attend the Hearing voluntarily and remotely There is strong agreement on both sides Of the aisle That hearing from these witnesses is Important To the deliberations before this Committee Including deliberations on what Legislative reforms are necessary To ensure a free and open internet for Almost 25 years the preservation of Internet freedom Has been the hallmark of a thriving Digital economy In the united states the success has Largely been attributed to a light Touch regulatory framework and to Section 230 of the communications Decency act Often referred to as the 26 words that Created The internet there is little dispute That section 230 played a critical role In the early development and growth Of online platforms section 230 gave

Content providers protection From liability to remove and moderate Content That they or their users consider to be Quote Obscene lewd lascivious Filthy excessively violent harassing Or otherwise objectionable end quote This liability shield has been pivotal In protecting online platforms From endless and potentially ruinous Lawsuits But it has also given these internet Platforms the ability to control Stifle and even censor content in Whatever manner Meets their respective standards the Time has come for that free pass To end after 24 years of section 230 Being the law of the land much has Changed the internet is no longer an Emerging technology Companies before us today are no longer Scrappy Startups operating out of a garage Or a dorm room they are now among the World’s Largest corporations wielding immense Power in our economy culture and public Discourse Immense power The applications they have created are Connecting the world in unprecedented Ways far beyond what lawmakers

Could have imagined three decades ago These companies are controlling the Overwhelming flow of news And information that the public can Share And access one noteworthy example Occurred just two weeks ago after our Subpoenas were unanimously approved The new york post the country’s fourth Largest newspaper ran a story revealing Communications Between hunter biden and a ukrainian Official the report alleged that hunter Biden Facilitated a meeting with his father Joe biden who was then vice president Of the united states almost immediately Both twitter and facebook took steps to Block or limit Access to the story facebook According to its policy communications Manager Began quote reducing its Distribution on the platform unquote Pending a third party check A third-party fact check twitter went Beyond that blocking All users including the house judiciary Committee From sharing the article on feeds and Through direct Messages twitter even locked the new York post Account entirely claiming the story

Included Hacked materials and was potentially Harmful it is worth noting that both Twitter and facebook’s aversion To hacked materials has not always been So so stringent For example when the president’s tax Returns were illegally Leaked neither company acted to restrict Access To that information similarly the now Discredited steele dossier Was widely shared without fact-checking Or disclaimers this apparent double Standard would be appalling under normal Circumstances But the fact that selective censorship Is occurring In the midst of the 2020 election cycle Dramatically amplifies the power wielded By Facebook and twitter google recently Generated its own controversy when it Was revealed that the company Threatened to cut off several Conservative websites including the Federalists From their ad platform Make no mistake for sites that rely Heavily on advertising revenue For their bottom line being blocked from Google services or Demonetized can be a death sentence According to google the offense of these

Websites was Hosting user submitted comment sections That included Objectionable content But google’s own platform youtube hosts User submitted comment sections for Every video Uploaded it seems that google is far More zealous In policing conservative sites Than its own youtube platform for the Same types Of offensive and outrageous language It is ironic that when the subject is Net neutrality Technology companies including facebook Google and twitter have warned about the Grave threat of blocking Or throttling the flow of information on The internet Meanwhile these same companies are Actively blocking and throttling The distribution of content on their own Platforms and are using protections Under section 30 to do it is it any Surprise that voices on the right are Complaining about Hypocrisy or even worse Anti-democratic election interference These recent incidents are only the Latest in long Trail of censorship and suppression of Conservative voices on the internet Reasonables or observers are left to

Wonder whether big tech firms Are obstructing the flow of information To benefit One political ideology or agenda My concern is that these platforms have Become powerful arbiters Of what is true and what content users Can access The american public gets little insight Into the decision-making process When content is moderated and users have Little recourse when they are Censored or restricted i hope we can all Agree that the issues Committee will discuss today are ripe For thorough examination And action i have introduced legislation To clarify the intent of section 230s Liability protections and increase the Accountability of companies who engage In content Moderation the online freedom and Viewpoint diversity act Would make important changes to right Size the liability shield And make clear what type of content Moderation is Protected this legislation would address The challenges we have discussed While still leaving fundamentals Of section 230 in place although some of My colleagues on the other side of the Aisle have characterized this as A purely partisan exercise there is

Strong Bipartisan support for reviewing Section 230 in fact both presidential Candidates trump and biden Have proposed repealing section 230 In its entirety a position i have not Yet Embraced i hope we can focus today’s Discussion on the issues that affect all Americans Protecting a true diversity of Viewpoints And free discourse is central to our way Of life I look forward to hearing from today’s Witnesses about what they are doing to Promote transparency accountability And fairness in their content moderation Processes and i thank Each of them for cooperating with us In the scheduling of this testimony i Now turn to my friend and ranking member Senator cantwell for her opening remarks Senator cantwell The beautiful state of washington uh in My senate office here in washington dc Shows the various ecosystems of the State of washington which we Very much appreciate i bring that up Because Just recently the seattle area was named The number one stem economy In the united states that is the most Stem workforce in the united states of

America So these issues about how we harness the Information age to work for us And not against us is something that we Deal with Every day of the week and we want to Have discussion And discourse i believe that discussion And discourse today Should be broader than just 2 30. there Are issues of privacy that our committee Has addressed And issues of how to make sure there is A free And competitive news market i noticed Today we’re not calling in the nab Or the publishers association asking Them why they haven’t Printed or reprinted information that You allude to In your testimony that you wish was more Broadly distributed To have the competition in the news Market Is to have a diversity of voices and Diversity of opinion and in my Uh report just recently released we show That true competition Really does help perfect information Both for our economy And for the health of our democracy so i Do look forward to discussing These issues today what i do not want Today’s hearing to be

Is a chilling effect on the very Important aspects Of making sure that hate speech or Misinformation related to health and Public safety Are allowed to remain on the internet we All know what happened in 2016 And we had reports from the fbi our Intelligence agencies And a bipartisan senate committee that Concluded in 2016 That russian operatives did masquerading As americans Used targeted advertisements Intentionally falsified news articles Self-generated content social media Platform tools to interact and attempt To deceive tens of millions of social Media users In the united states director of National intelligence Then republican senator former senator Dan coats said quote in july 2018 The warning lights are blinking red that The digital infrastructure that serves Our country Is literally under attack so I take this issue very seriously and Have had For many years that is making sure As the moeller special counsel mueller Indicated 12 russian intelligence Officers hacked the dnc And various information detailing

Phishing attacks Into our state election boards online Personas And stealing documents so when we had a Subcommittee hearing And former bush homeland security Director michael chertoff testified I asked him point blank because there Were some of our colleagues who were Saying you know what Everybody does election interference so I asked him If election interference was something That we did or should Uh be encouraging he responded that he Agreed Quote interfering with infrastructure or Elections is completely off limits And unacceptable that is why i believe That We should be working aggressively Internationally To sanction anybody that interferes in Our elections So i hope today that we will get a Report From the witnesses on exactly what they Have been doing To clamp down on election interference i Hope that they will tell us what kind of Hate speech and misinformation that they Have taken off the books It is no secret that there are various State actors

Who are doing all they can to take a Whack at democracy To try to say that our way of government That our way of life that our way of Freedom of speech And information is somehow not as good As we have made it being the beacon of Democracy around the globe I am not going to let or tolerate people To continue to whack At our election process our vote by mail System Or the ability of tech platforms Security companies our law enforcement Entities And the collective community to speak Against Misinformation and hate speech we have To show That the united states of america stands Behind our principles And that our principles do also transfer To the responsibility of communication Online As my colleagues will know we’ve all Been through this in the past that is Why You mr chairman and i and senators rosen And thune Sponsored the hacked act that is to Help increase the security and cyber Security of our nation And create a workforce that can fight Against that that is why i joined with

Van hollen and rubio on the deter act Especially Establishing sanctions against russian Election interference And to continue to make sure that we Build the infrastructure Of tomorrow so i know that some people Think that these issues Are out of sight and out of mind i Guarantee you they’re not There are actors who have been at this For a long time They wanted to destabilize eastern Europe and we became the second act when They tried to destabilize Our democracy here by sowing Disinformation I want to show them that we in the United states Do have fair elections we do have a fair Process We are going to be that beacon of Democracy So i hope that as we talk about 30 today And we hear from the witnesses on the Progress that they have made In making sure that disinformation is Not allowed online That we will also consider ways to help Build and strengthen that That is to say as some of those who are Testifying today What can we do on transparency on Reporting

On analysis and yes i think you’re going To hear a lot about algorithms today And and the kind of oversight that we All want To make sure that we can continue to Have a diversity of voices In the united states of america both Online And offline i do want to say though mr Chairman i Am concerned about the vertical nature Of News and information today i expect to Ask The witnesses about the fact that i Believe they create a choke point for Local news The local news media have lost 70 Percent of their revenue Over the last decade and we have lost Thousands Thousands of journalistic jobs that are Important It was even amazing to me that the Sequence of events Yesterday had me being interviewed By someone at a newspaper who was funded By a joint group of the knight Foundation And probably facebook funds to interview Me About the fact that the news media and Broadcast has fallen on such a decline Because of loss of revenue as they’ve

Made the transition to the digital age Somehow somehow we have to come together To show that the diversity of voices That local news represent Need to be dealt with fairly when it Comes to the advertising market And that too much control in the Advertising market Puts a foot on the on their ability to Continue to move forward and grow in the Digital age Just as other forms of media have made The transition And yes still making the transition we Want to have A very healthy and dynamic news media Across the united states of america So i plan to ask the witnesses today About that I wish we had time to go into depth on Privacy and privacy issues but mr Chairman you know And so does senator thune and other Colleagues of the committee on my side How important it is that we protect America consumers on privacy issues That we’re not done with this work that There is much to do to bring consensus In the united states on this important Issue and i hope that as we do have time Or In the follow-up to these questions that We can Ask the witnesses about that today but

Make no mistake Gentlemen thank you for joining us but This is probably uh one of many many Many conversations That we will have about all of these Issues but again Let’s harness the information age as you Are doing But let’s also make sure that consumers Are fairly treated And that we are making it work for all Of us to guarantee Our privacy our diversity of divorces And upholding our democratic principles And the fact that we the united states Of america Stand for freedom of information and Freedom of the press Thank you thank you senator cantwell and Certainly you’re correct That this uh will not be the last um Hearing with regard to this subject Matter and i also Appreciate you mentioning your concerns Which i share About local journalism At this point we Are about to receive testimony from our Witnesses before we begin that Let me remind members that today’s Hearing Will provide senators with seven minute Rounds with a round of seven minute Questioning rather than the usual five

Minutes That we have done in the past at seven Minutes the gavel Will um let’s say At a few seconds after seven minutes the Gavel will go down Even so this hearing could last some Three hours and 42 minutes at that rate So This will be an extensive and lengthy Hearing Members are advised that we will adhere Closely to that seven Minute limit and also shortly before Noon at the request of one of our Witnesses We will take a short 10-minute break With that We welcome our panel of witnesses thank Them for their testimony and ask them To give their opening statements Summarizing them in some Five minutes the entire statement will Be Uh added at this point in the record And we will begin with mr jack dorsey Of twitter sir are you um here Do you hear us and uh we have contact With you Yes can you hear me yes yes um so thank You for being with us and you are now Recognized for five minutes sir Thank you members of the commerce Committee for the opportunity to speak

With the american people About twitter and section 230. my Remarks will be brief So we can get to questions section 230 Is the most important law Protecting internet speech and removing Section 230 will remove Speech from the internet section 230 Gave internet services two important Tools The first provides immunity from Liability for users content The second provides good samaritan Protections For content moderation and removal even Of constitutionally protected speech As long as it’s done in good faith That concept of good faith is what’s Being challenged by many of you today Some of you don’t trust we’re acting in Good faith that’s the problem I want to focus on solving how does Services like twitter Earn your trust how do we ensure more Choice in the market If we don’t there are three solutions We’d like to propose To address the concerns raised all Focused on services that decide To moderate or remove content they could Be expansions to section 230 New legislative frameworks or commitment To industry-wide self-regulation Best practices the first

Is requiring a services moderation Process to be published Our case is reported and reviewed our Decisions made What tools are used to enforce Publishing answers to questions like These will make our process more robust And accountable to the people we serve The second is requiring a Straightforward process to appeal Decisions Made by humans or by algorithms This ensures people can let us know when We don’t get it right So we can fix any mistakes and make our Processes better In the future and finally much of the Content people see today is determined By algorithms With very little visibility into how They choose what they show We took a first step in making this more Transparent by building a button To turn off our home timeline algorithms It’s a good start But we’re inspired by the market Approach suggested by dr stephen wolfram Before this committee in june 2019 Enabling people to choose algorithms Created by third parties to rank and Filter their content Is an incredibly energizing idea that’s In reach Requiring one moderation process and

Practices to be published Two a straightforward process to appeal Decisions And three best efforts around Algorithmic choice Are suggestions to address the concerns We all have going forward And they’re all achievable in short Order It’s critical as we consider these Solutions we optimize for new startups And independent developers doing so Ensures a level playing field That increases the probability of Competing ideas to help solve problems We mustn’t entrench the largest Companies any further Thank you for the time and i look Forward to a productive discussion to Dig into these And other ideas Thank you very much mr dorsey we now Call on mr sundar pika You are recognized for five minutes sir Chairman miker ranking member cantwell And distinguished members of the Committee Thank you for the opportunity to appear Before you today The internet has been a powerful force For good Over the past three decades has Radically improved access to information Whether it’s connecting americans to

Jobs getting critical updates to people In times of crisis or helping a parent Find answers to questions like How can i get my baby to sleep through The night At the same time people everywhere can Use their voices to share new Perspectives Express themselves and reach broader Audiences Than ever before whether you’re a barber In mississippi Or a home renovator in indiana you can Share a video And build a global fan base and a Successful business Right from your living room in this way The internet has been one of the world’s Most important equalizers Information can be shared and knowledge Can flow From anyone to anywhere the same low Barriers to entry Also make it possible for bad actors to Cause harm As a company whose mission is to Organize the world’s information And make it universally accessible and Useful Google is deeply conscious of both the Opportunities And risks the internet creates i’m proud That google’s information services Like search gmail maps and photos

Provide thousands of dollars a year in Value to the average american For free we feel a deep responsibility To keep the people who use our products Safe and secure and have long invested In innovative tools to prevent abuse of Our services When it comes to privacy we are Committed to keeping your information Safe Treating it responsibly and putting you In control We continue to make privacy improvements Like the changes are Announced earlier this year to keep less Data by default And support the creation of Comprehensive federal privacy laws We are equally committed to protecting The quality and integrity of information On our platforms And supporting our democracy in a Non-partisan way as just one timely Example Our information panels on google and Youtube inform users about where to vote And how to register We’ve also taken many steps to raise up High quality journalism From sending 24 billion visits to news Websites globally every month To our recent one billion dollar Investment in partnerships with news Publishers

Since our founding we’ve been deeply Committed to the freedom of expression We also feel a responsibility to protect People who use our products from harmful Content And to be transparent about how we do That That’s why we set and publicly disclose Clear guidelines for our products and Platforms Which we enforce impartially We recognize that people come to our Services with a broad spectrum of Perspectives And we are dedicated to building Products that are helpful to users Of all backgrounds and viewpoints let me Be clear We approach our work without political Bias full stop To do otherwise would be contrary to Both our business interests And our mission which compels us to make Information accessible To every type of person no matter where They live or what they believe Of course our ability to provide access To a wide range of information Is only possible because of existing Legal frameworks like section 230 The united states adopted section 230 Early in the internet’s history And it has been foundational to us Leadership in the tech sector

It protects the freedom to create and Share content while supporting the Ability of platforms and services Of all sizes to responsibly address Harmful content We appreciate that this committee has Put great thought into how platforms Should address content We look forward to having these Conversations As you think about how to shape policy In this important area I would urge the committee to be very Thoughtful about any changes to section 230 And to be very aware of the consequences Those changes Might have on businesses and customers At the end of the day we all share the Same goal free access to information for Everyone And responsible protections for people And their data We support legal frameworks that achieve These goals I look forward to engaging with you Today about these important issues And answering your questions thank you Thank you very much mr pakkai Members should be advised at this point That we are unable To make contact with mr mark Zuckerberg we are told by Facebook staff that he is alone

And attempting To to connect with his hearing And that They are requesting a five-minute recess At this point To see if that connection can be made i Think this is Most a most interesting development but We’re going to accommodate the request Of The facebook Employees and and to see if within five Minutes We can make contact And proceed so at this point declare a Five-minute recess Oh Oh What’d you say Yes Call the hearing back into order and We’re told that in in Less than five minutes we have success So um mr zuckerberg i’m told That we have both video and Audio connection are you there sir Uh yes i am can you hear me can hear you Fine and you’re now recognized for five Minutes to Summarize your testimony welcome all Right Thank you chairman um i was able to hear The other the other opening statements I was just having a hard time connecting

Myself All right so i know the feeling mr Zuckerberg Chairman wicker ranking member cantwell And members of the committee Every day millions of americans use the Internet to share their experiences and Discuss issues that matter to them Setting the rules for online discourse Is an important challenge for our Society And there are principles at stake that Go beyond any one platform How do we balance free expression and Safety how do we define what is Dangerous Who should decide i don’t believe that Private companies should be making so Many decisions about these issues by Themselves And at facebook we often have to balance Competing equities Sometimes the best approach from a Safety or security perspective isn’t the Best For privacy or free expression so we Work with experts across society to Strike the right balance We don’t always get it right but we try To be fair and consistent The reality is that people have very Different ideas and views about where The lines should be Democrats often say that we don’t remove

Enough content and republicans often say We remove too much I expect that we’ll hear some of those Criticisms today And the fact that both sides criticize Us doesn’t mean that we’re getting this Right But it does mean that there are real Disagreements about where the limits of Online speech Should be i think that’s understandable People can reasonably Disagree about where to draw the lines That’s a hallmark of Democratic societies especially here in The u.s With our strong first amendment Tradition but it strengthens my belief That when a private company is making These calls We need a more accountable process that People feel is legitimate And that gives platforms certainty at Facebook we publish our standards And issue quarterly reports on the Content that we take down We launched an independent oversight Board that can overturn our decisions And we’ve committed to an audit of our Content reports But i believe congress has a role to Play too in order to give people Confidence that the process is carried Out in a way that balances society’s

Deeply held values appropriately and That’s Why i’ve called for regulation right now The discussion is focused on section 230. Some say that ending 230 would solve all The internet’s problems Others say that within the internet as We know it From our perspective section 230 does Two basic things First it encourages free expression Which is fundamentally Important without 230 platforms could Potentially be held liable For everything that people say they’d Face much greater pressure To take down more content to avoid legal Risk Second if platform it allows platforms To moderate content Without 230 platforms could face Liability for basic moderation like Removing harassment That impacts the safety of their Communities Now there’s a reason why america leads In technology Section 230 helped create the internet As we know it It has helped new ideas get built and Our companies to spread american values Around the world and we should maintain This advantage

But the internet has also evolved and i Think that congress Should update the law to make sure that It’s working as intended One important place to start would be Making content moderation systems more Transparent Another would be to separate good actors From bad actors by Making sure that companies can’t hide Behind section 230 To avoid responsibility for Intentionally facilitating illegal Activity on their platforms We’re open to working with congress on These ideas and more I hope the changes that you make will Ring true to the spirit and intent of 230 There are consequential choices to make Here and it’s important that we Don’t prevent the next generation of Ideas from being built Now although this hearing is about Content policy i also want to cover our Election preparedness work Voting ends in six days we’re in the Midst of a pandemic And there are ongoing threats to the Integrity of this election Since 2016 facebook has made major Investments To stop foreign interference we’ve hired More than 35

000 people to work on safety and Security we’ve disrupted more than 100 Networks Coming from russia iran and china And more there were misleading people About who they are and what they’re Doing Including three just this week this is An extraordinary election And we’ve updated our policies to Reflect that We’re showing people reliable Information about voting and results And we’ve strengthened our ads and Misinformation policies We’re also running the largest voting Information campaign in u.s history We estimate that we’ve helped more than 4.4 million people register to vote And a hundred thousand people volunteer To be poll workers Candidates on both sides continue to use Our platforms To reach voters and people are rightly Focused on the role that technology Companies play in our elections I’m proud of the work that we’ve done to Support our democracy This is a difficult period but i believe That america will emerge stronger than Ever And we’re focused on doing our part to Help Well thank you thank you very much mr

Zuckerberg and thanks to All of our witnesses we will now i think We’re supposed to set the clock to Seven minutes and i see five minutes up There but Somehow we’ll we’ll um we’ll keep Time so there we are okay um but Well thank you all let me start then um With mr dorsey um mr dorsey The committee has compiled dozens and Dozens of examples Of conservative content being Censored and suppressed by your Platforms Over over the last four years i Entered these examples into the record On october 1st when the committee Voted unanimously to issue uh The subpoenas and and thank you all Three again for working with us On the scheduling Alleviating uh the necessity for Actually exercising the subpoenas Um mr dorsey your platform allows Foreign dictators to post Propaganda typically without restriction Yet you routinely restrict the president Of the united states And here’s an example in march a Spokesman for the chinese communist Party falsely accused the u.s military Of causing the coronavirus epidemic He tweeted quote cdc was Caught on the spot when did patient zero

Begin In the u.s how many people are infected What are the names of the hospitals it Might be the u.s Army who brought the epidemic To wuhan and on and on Um after this tweet was up for some two Months Twitter added a fact check label to this Tweet after Being up for two months however when President Trump tweeted about how Mail-in ballots are vulnerable to fraud A statement that I subscribe to and agree with a Statement that isn’t In in fact true twitter immediately Imposed fact check label on that Tweet mr dorsey how does it claim by Chinese communists That the u.s military is to blame for Covid Remain up for two months without a fact Check and the president’s tweet About security mail and ballots get Labeled instantly Well first and foremost we as you Mentioned we did label That tweet as we think about enforcement We consider severity of offline Of potential offline harm and we act As quickly as we can we have taken Action

Against tweets from world leaders all Around the world Including um the president and we did Uh take action on that tweet because we Saw it we saw the confusion uh it might Encourage and we labeled it accordingly And the goal with our labeling speaking Of the president’s tweet Yes okay the goal of our labeling is to Provide more context to connect the dots Uh so that people can have more Information so they can make decisions For themselves We you know we we’ve created these Policies recently Um we are enforcing them um there are Certainly Uh things that we can do much faster But generally um we believe that the Policy was enforced in a timely manner And uh in the right regard and and And yet uh you seem to have no objection To um a tweet by the chinese communist Party saying the u.s Army brought the epidemic to wuhan Well we did and we we labeled that tweet Um Providing providence to do so is that Correct I’m not sure of the exact time frame but We can get back to you on that So uh you’re going to get back to us as To how A tweet from the chinese communist party

Falsely accusing The u.s military of causing the corona Virus epidemic uh was left up for two Months With with no comment from from twitter While uh the president of the united States Uh making a statement about being Careful about Uh a voter uh about ballot security With the mail was labeled immediately I uh i have a tweet here From mr ajit pai Mr ajit pai is the is the chairman of The federal Communications commission and Um and and he He he recounts some four Tweets by the iranian Dictator ayatollah ali khamenei Which twitter did not place a public Label on they all four of them glorify Violence the first tweet says this and i Quote each time The zionist regime is a deadly cancerous Growth and a detriment to the region it Will undoubtedly be uprooted and Destroyed Let’s first tweet the second tweet the Only remedy until the removal of the Zionist regime is Firm armed resistance again Left up without comment By twitter the third the struggle to

Free Palestine is jihad In the way of god um I quote i quote that in part for The sake of time and number four we will Support And assist any nation or any group Anywhere who opposes and fights The zionist regime i um I would simply point out that um These tweets are still up mr dorsey And uh how is it that they are Acceptable To be to be there i’ll i’ll ask Unanimous consent To enter this tweet from ajit pai in the Record at this point that’ll be done Without objection How mr dorsey is that acceptable Based on your policies at twitter We believe it’s important for everyone To hear from global leaders And we have policies around World leaders we want to make sure that We are respecting their right to speak And and to publish what they need but if There is a violation of our terms of Service Uh we want to label it they’re still up Do they violate your terms of service mr Dorsey We we did not find those to violate our Terms of service Um because we considered them saber

Rattling Which is um is part of the speech Of world leaders in in concert with Other countries Um speech uh against Our own people or a country’s own Citizens We believe is different and can cause More immediate harm Very very telling information mr dorsey Thank you very much Senator cantwell you are recognized I think i’m referring to our colleague Senator uh Peters just because of timing and Situation for him All right senator peters are you there i Am here Sir i am here you are recognized for Seven minutes Well thank you mr chairman and uh Ranking member can’t well Appreciate uh your deferral to me i Certainly Appreciate that consideration a great Deal also want to thank Each of our panelists here today for Coming forward and Being a witness and appreciate all of You accommodating your schedule so that We could have this uh hearing My first uh question is for mr Zuckerberg As and i want to start off by saying how

Much i appreciated our opportunity Last night to speak at length on a Number of issues and As i told you last night i i appreciate The facebook’s efforts To assist the law enforcement to disrupt A plot to Kidnap and then to hold a sham trial and And kill our governor governor whitmer The individuals in that case apparently Uh Used a facebook for a broad recruiting Effort But then they actually plan the Specifics of that operation Off off of your platform my question is When users Reach the level of radicalization that Violates your community Standards you often will ban those Groups and your then drive them off to Other platforms Those platforms tend to have less Transparency and oversight But the the issue that i’d like you to Address is for those Individuals that remain on your platform Uh they they’re often far Down the path of radicalization but they Are definitely looking For an outlet and i understand that Facebook has recently Adopted a strategy to redirect users who Are searching for example

For election misinformation but it Doesn’t seem That that policy applies to budding Violent uh extremists Mr zuckerberg do you believe that the Platform as a your platform has a Responsibility to off-ramp users who are On the path to radicalization by violent Extremist groups Senator thanks for the the question i Think this is Very important and my understanding is That we Actually do a little of of what you’re You’re talking about here if people are Searching For um you know i think for example White supremacist organizations of which We We ban those we treat them as as Terrorist organizations Um you know not only are we not going to Show that content but i think we try to Um where we can highlight Um information that would be helpful and I think we try to work with experts on That i Um i i can i can follow up and get you More information on the scope of those Activities and when we Uh invoke that uh but i i certainly Agree with the spirit of the question That this is A good idea and something that we should

Continue uh Pursuing and perhaps expand well i Appreciate those comments i’m the Ranking member on senate Homeland security committee and what We’re are seeing is a rise of violent Extremist groups which is uh very Troubling and certainly We need to work very closely with you as To how do we disrupt this kind of Radicalization especially folks that are Using your platform so i appreciate The opportunity to work further and and As we talked about last night uh you Asserted that facebook is Proactively working with law enforcement Now to disrupt Some of these real world violent Attempts That stem from some of that activity That originated your platform Could you tell me specifically how many Threats That you have proactively referred to Local or state law enforcement Prior to being approached for a Preservation Request senator i don’t know the number Off the top of my head so i can follow Up with you on that but It is increasingly common that our Systems Are able to detect when there’s Potential

Issues and over the last four years in Particular we’ve built Closer partnerships with law enforcement And the intelligence community to be Able to share those kind of signals So we’re doing more of that including in The case that you mentioned before Around the the attempted kidnapping of Governor Whitmer we we identified that as a Signal to the fbi Um i think it was about six months ago When we started seeing some Some suspicious activity on our platform And um There’s certainly that’s that’s part of Our our routine and And how we operate Well uh zuckerberg discovery tools um And Recommendation algorithms that your Platforms use Does serve up potentially extremist Content based on the user profiles Of folks as we as we seek to understand Why membership in these extremist groups Are Rise is rising i would hope that your Companies are Right now engaging in some forensic Analysis of membership Once you take down an extremist group to Take a look at how that uh happened on Your platform

It’s certainly gonna better inform us as To how we can disrupt this type of Recruitment Into extremist groups my question for You though is that in in 2016 you said and this was Apparently an internal facebook internal Document that was reported by the wall Street journal That said that 64 of members of violent Groups became members because of your Platform’s recommendation Uh and i’ll quote from that report that Was reported in the wall street journal It said our recommendation systems Grow the problem that’s clearly very Concerning and i know in response to Uh that report in 2016 uh you had made Changes to your policies you made Changes To some of the algorithms that existed At that time My question is have you seen a reduction In your platform’s facilitation of Extremist group Recruitment since those policies were Changed Senator i’m not familiar with that Specific study but i agree with the Concern And making sure that our recommendation Systems for What groups uh people are are Given the opportunity to join is

Certainly one important Uh vector for for addressing this issue And we’ve taken a number of steps here Including disqualifying groups From being included in our Recommendation system at all If they routinely are being used to Share misinformation or if they have Content violations Um or a number of other criteria so Um i’m quite focused on this i agree With With um where you’re going with with That question Um i i don’t have any data today on um The the real world impact of that yet But i i think that Addressing this upstream is is very Important So i appreciate you agreeing uh with That and that we need more Data is it that you don’t have the data Just at the top of your head Or that it doesn’t uh exist Uh well senator certainly the former And and potentially the latter as well i Think it probably takes Um sometime before after we make these Changes Uh to be able to measure the the impact Of it Um and i’m not aware of of what Um studies are going on into this this Is this seems like the type of thing

That One would want not just internal Facebook researchers to work on But also potentially a collaboration With with Independent academics as well thank you Mr zuckerberg and thank you thank you Senator peters Senator gardner has also asked to Go out of order and senator thune has Graciously uh deferred to him so senator Gardner You are recognized for uh for seven Minutes sir Well thank you mr chairman and thank you Senator thune for uh For sharing your time or at least Deferring your time uh to me And thank you mr zuckerberg mr uh pj Thank you very much and mr dorsey thank You For being here uh mr dorsey i’m going to Direct these first questions to you mr Dorsey do you believe that the holocaust Really happened yes or no Yes so you would agree that someone who Says the holocaust May not have happened is spreading Misinformation yes or no Uh yes i appreciate your answers on this But they surprised me and probably a lot Of Other colorads and americans after all Iran’s ayatollah has done

Exactly this questioning the holocaust And yet his tweets remain unflagged on Twitter’s Platform you and i agree that moderating Your platform makes sense in certain Respects We don’t want the next terrorist finding Inspiration on twitter Or any certain any platform for that Matter But you’ve also decided to moderate Certain content from Influential world leaders and i’d like To understand your decisions to do so a Little bit better Can you name any other instance of Twitter hiding or deleting A tweet from heads of state uh Not not off the top of my head but we Have many examples across world leaders Around the world would you be willing to Provide a list of those Absolutely uh i know we’ve established We agree content moderation can have Certain upsides like Combating terrorism but twitter has Chosen to approach content moderation From the standpoint of Combating misinformation as well so it’s Strange to me that you’ve flagged the Tweets from the president But haven’t hidden the ayatollah’s Tweets on holocaust denial or calls to Wipe

Israel off the map and that you You can’t recall off the top of your Head hidden or deleted tweets from other World leaders i would appreciate that That list i think it’s important that we All hear that so that brings my next Question uh to the front does twitter Maintain a formal list of certain Accounts That you actively monitor for Misinformation No and we don’t have a policy against Missile permission we have a policy Against misinformation in three Categories which are manipulated media Public health specifically covet and Civic integrity Election and election interference and Voter suppression That is all for misleading information We do not have policy or enforcement for Any other types Of misleading information that you’re Mentioning so somebody denying the Murder of millions of people Or instigating violence against a Country as a head of state Is not categorically falling in any of Those three Misinformation or other categories Twitter has not misinformation but we do Have Other policies around incitement to Violence uh which

Which may um some some of the tweets you Mentioned or the examples that you’re Mentioning Uh may fall fallow um but for misleading Information uh we’re focused on those Three categories only So somebody denies the holocaust has Happened is not misinformation It’s it’s misleading information but we Don’t have a policy against that type of Misleading information Millions of people died and that’s not a Violation Of twitter it’s again i just don’t Understand how you can Label a president of the united states Have you ever taken a tweet down From the ayatollah uh i I believe we have but we can get back to You on that we’ve certainly labeled Tweets Um and i believe we have taken one down As well Uh you know if you if you you said you Do not have a list is that correct you Do not maintain a list We don’t maintain a list of accounts we Watch uh we look for reports Uh and issues brought to us and then we Weigh it against our policy and enforce If needed you look for reports From your employees or from the no from The people From the people using the service right

And then they they turn that over to Your your board of review is that Correct We we well so in some cases algorithms Take action uh in other cases Achievements do In some cases it’s a pairing of the two There are numerous examples of blue Check marks uh Blue check marks that are spreading False information that aren’t flagged so Twitter must have some kind of list of Priority accounts that it maintains you Have the Blue check mark list how do you decide How do you decide when to flag a tweet You got into that a little bit is there A formal threshold of retweets or likes That must be met before A tweet is flagged no Twitter can’t claim that i i just with Your answers on The aitola and others i just don’t Understand how twitter can claim to Want a world of less hate and Misinformation while you simultaneously Let the kind of content that the Ayatollah has Tweeted out flourish on the platform Including from other world Leaders i i just it’s no wonder that Americans are concerned about Politically motivated content moderation At twitter

Given what we have just said i don’t Like the idea of a group of Unelected elites in san francisco or Silicon valley deciding Whether my speech is permissible on Their platforms but i like that Even less the idea of unelected Washington dc bureaucrats trying to Enforce some kind of politically neutral Content moderation So just as we have heard from other Panelists As we we’re going to hear throughout the Day we have to be very careful And not rush to legislate in ways that Stifle speech You can delete facebook turn off twitter Or try to ditch google but you cannot Unsubscribe From government sensors congress should Be focused on encouraging speech not Restricting it The supreme court has tried teaching us That lesson time and time again and the Constitution demands That we remember it i’m running short on Time so i’m going to very quickly Go through another question one of the Core ideas of section 230s Liability protections is this you Shouldn’t be responsible for what Someone else says On your platform conversely you should Be liable for what you say or

Do on your own platform i think that’s Pretty common sense But courts have not always agreed with This rep this approach even Rep chris cox of mined in a recent wall Street journal uh op-ed that section 230 Has sometimes been interpreted by courts More broadly than I expected for example allowing some Websites to escape Liability for content they helped create Mr zuckerberg I have a simple question for you and Each of the panelists today quickly Uh to be clear i’m not talking about Technical tools or operating The platform itself here i’m purely Talking about content do you agree That internet platforms should be held Liable for the specific content that you Yourself Create on your own platforms yes or no Very quickly Uh senator i think that that is Reasonable uh yes or no mr dorsey if Twitter creates specific content should Twitter be liable for that content As well mr same question to you yes or No should google be liable for the Specific content that it creates Uh if we are acting as a publisher i Would i would uh say yes The specific content that you create on Your own platform yes that seems

Reasonable uh thank you i think One of the other sides of liability Questions in regards to the good faith Removal Provision uh in section 230 uh that We’ll get into a little bit more in the Private questions i know i’m out of time So mr chairman thank you for Uh giving me this time senator thune Thank you as well and thanks to the Witnesses Thank you senator gardner The ranking member has now deferred to Senator klobuchar so Senator you are now recognized Thank you chairman i want to know first That this hearing comes six days before Election day And uh it makes i i believe we’re Politicizing and the republican Majority is politicizing uh which should Actually Not be a partisan topic and i do want to Thank The witnesses here for appearing but Also For the work that they’re doing to try To encourage voting And to put out the correct information When the president others are Undermining vote by mail something we’re Doing in every state in the country Right now Second point uh republicans failed to

Pass my bipartisan honest ads act Uh and the white house blatantly blocked The bipartisan election security bill That i had With senator lankford as well as several Other republicans And it’s one of the reasons i think we Need a new president Third my republican colleagues in the Senate Many of them i work with very well in This committee But we have had four years uh to do Something Uh when it comes to antitrust Privacy a local news a subject that Briefly came up and so many other things So I’m going to use my time to focus on What i consider In justice ginsburg’s words to be a Blueprint for the future I’ll start with you mr zuckerberg how Many people Log into facebook every day Senator it is more than two billion Okay and how much money have you made on Political advertisements in the last two Years Uh senator do not know off the top of my Head it is a Relatively small part of our revenue Okay Small for you but i think it’s 2.2

Billion Um over 10 000 ads sold since may 2018. Those are your numbers and we can check Them Uh later do you require facebook Employees to review the content Of each of the political ads that you Sell In order to ensure that they comply with The law and your own internal rules Uh senator we require all political Advertisers to be verified before they Could run Ads and i i believe we do review Uh advertising as as well but does a Real person actually read the political Ads that you Sound yes or no Senator i i imagine that a person does Not look at every single ad our systems Are a combination of Artificial intelligence systems and People we have 35 000 people who do content and Security review for us But doing the massive amount i really Just had a straightforward question Because i don’t think they do i think The algorithms Hit in because i think the ads instantly Are placed Is that correct Senator my understanding of the way the System works is

We have computers and artificial Intelligence Um scan everything and and if we think That there are potential violations then Either the ai system will act or it will Flag it to Uh the tens of thousands of people who Do content review but just With all the money you have you could Have a real person review like a lot of The other Traditional media organizations do so Another question uh when john mccain and I and senator warner introduced the Honest ads act we got Pushback from your company others and You’re initially against it then we Discuss this at a hearing You’re for it i appreciate that um and Have you spent any of the money i know You spent the most money Facebook spent the most money ever Lobbying last year have you spent any of The money trying to change or block the Bill In fact i’ve endorsed it publicly and We’ve implemented it Into our systems even though it hasn’t Become law i um i’m About bigger change it no Have you done anything to get it passed Because we’re at a roadblock on it And i do appreciate that you voluntarily Implemented some of it but

Have you voluntarily implemented the Part of the anastasia act where you Fully disclose which groups of people Are being targeted By political ads senator we have I think industry leading transparency Around political ads and part of that Is showing um which audiences Um in broad terms uh Ended up seeing the ads um you know of Course getting the right resolution on That is Challenging without it becoming a Privacy issue but we’ve we’ve tried to Do that and provide as much transparency As we can and i i think we’re We’re currently leading in that area um Into your question about how we’re Saying Some concerns that i i don’t mean to Interrupt you but i have such limited Time One of the things that i um last thing i Want to ask you about is device Divisiveness on the platform um and I’ve you know i know there’s been a Recent uh studies have shown That part of your algorithms they push People towards more polarized content Left right whatever In fact one of your researchers warned Senior executives that our algorithms Exploit the human brain’s attraction To divisiveness the way i look at it

More divisiveness more time in the Platform more time on the platform The company makes more money does that Bother you What it’s done to our politics Uh senator i respectfully disagree with That characterization of how the systems Work We design our systems to show people the Content that’s going to be The most meaningful to them um which is Is not Trying to be as divisive as possible Most of the content on the systems is Not Political um it’s things like making Sure that You can see when your you know your Cousin had Her baby or okay okay i’m gonna i’m Gonna move on to Um to google here and mr piche but i’m Mr pichai but i’m telling you right now That That’s not what i’m talking about the Cousins and the babies here i’m talking About Conspiracy theories and all the things That i think us The senators on both sides of the aisle Know what i’m talking about and i think It’s been Corrosive google mr pachai I have not really liked your response to

The lawsuit and what’s been happening i Think we need a change in competition Policy for this country I hope i’ll be able to ask you more About it at the judiciary Uh committee and i think your response Isn’t just offensive it’s been defiant To the justice department and suits all Over the world You control almost 90 percent of all General search engine queries Seventy percent of the search Advertising Market don’t you see these practices as Anti-competitive Um senator uh we are a popular general Purpose search engine we do see robust Competition many categories of Information And you know we in invest significantly In r d we are innovating we are lowering Prices in All the markets we are operating and Happy to uh You know engage and discuss it further Well one of your employees testified Before the antitrust subcommittee Last month and he suggested that google Wasn’t dominant In ad tech that it was only one of many Companies in a highly competitive ad Tech landscape Google has 90 of the publisher ad server Market

A product of its double click Acquisition does the market Sound highly competitive to you when you Have A very brief answer many publishers can Use simultaneously many tools Amazon and trade desk alone have grown Significantly in the last two years Uh you know we this is a market in which We share majority of our revenue our Margins are low We are happy to take feedback here we Are trying to support the publishing Industry but You know definitely open to feedback and Happy to engage in discussions thank you Thank you mr guy thank you feedback from The boss so Uh well i’m looking forward to our next Sharing to discuss it more thank you Thank you very much senator thune you’re Now recognized thank you mr chairman Chairman and i appreciate you convening The hearing today which is an important Follow-up to the subcommittee hearing That we convene in july on section 230 Many of us here today and many of those We represent are deeply concerned about The possibility of political bias and Discrimination by large internet and Social media platforms Others are concerned that even if your Actions aren’t skewed That they are hugely consequential for

Our public debate yet you operate with Limited accountability Such distrust is intensified by the fact That the moderation practices used to Suppress or amplify content Remain largely a black box to the public Moreover the public explanations given By the platforms for taking down or Suppressing content too often seem like Excuses that have to be walked back After scrutiny and due to exceptional Secrecy with which platforms protect Their algorithms and content moderation Practices It’s been impossible to prove one way Or another whether political bias exists So users are stuck with anecdotal Information that frequently seems To confirm their worst fears which is Why i’ve introduced two Bipartisan bills the platform Accountability and consumer transparency Or the pacdac And the filter bubble transparency act To give users The regulators and the general public Meaningful insight into online content Moderation decisions and how algorithms May be amplifying or suppressing Information and so I look forward to continuing that Discussion today My democrat colleagues suggest that when We

Criticize the bias against conservatives That were Somehow working the refs but the analogy Of working the refs assumes that it’s Legitimate even to think of Of you as refs it assumes that you three Silicon valley ceos get to decide what Political speech gets amplified or Suppressed and it assumes That you’re the arbiters of truth or at The very least the publishers Making editorial decisions about speech So yes or no i would ask this of each of The three of you are the democrats Correct that you all Are the legitimate referees over our Political speech mr zuckerberg are you The ref Uh senator senator i certainly i think Not and i do not want Us to have that role mr dorsey are you The ref No mr pashai are you the rev Uh senator i do think we make content Moderation decisions But we are transparent about it and we Do it to protect users but We really believe in support maximizing Freedom of expression I’ll take that as three knows and and i Agree with that you are not the referees Of our political speech that’s Why all three of you have to be more Transparent and fair

With your content moderation policies in Your content selection Algorithms because at the moment it is As i said largely a black box There is real mistrust among the American people about whether you’re Being fair or transparent And this extends the concerns about the Kinds of amplification and suppression Decisions your platforms may make on Election day and during the Post-election period if the results Of the election are too close to call And so i just want to underscore Again for my democratic friends who keep Using this really bad Referee analogy google facebook and Twitter Are not the referees over our democracy Now second question uh the pact act Which i referenced earlier Includes provisions to give users due Process and an explanation when content They post is removed So this is again a yes or no question do You agree That users should be entitled to due Process and an explanation when content They post Has been taken down mr zuckerberg Senator i think that that would be a Good principle to have Thank you mr dorsey absolutely We believe in a fair and straightforward

Appeals process great mr bashai Uh yes senator uh thank you um Mr zuckerberg mr dorsey the your Platforms Knowingly suppressed or limited the Visibility of this new york post article About the content on Hunter biden’s abandoned laptop many in The country are Justifiably concerned how often the Suppression of major newspaper articles Occurs online And i would say mr zuckerberg would you Commit To provide for the record a complete List of newspaper articles that facebook Suppressed or limited the distribution Of over the past five years Along with an explanation of why each Article was suppressed or the Distribution was limited uh Senator i can certainly follow up with With you and your team to To discuss that um This was we have an independent fact Checking program as you’re as you’re Saying Um you know we try not to be arbiters of What is true ourselves Uh but we have partnered with fact Checkers Uh around the world to help um Assess that to prevent uh misinformation And viral hoaxes from

Becoming widely distributed on our Platform and i believe That uh the information that they fact Check and the content that they fact Check is public So i think that there there’s probably Already a record of this that can be Reviewed Yeah but if you could do that as it Applies to newspapers that would be very Helpful and mr dorsey would you commit To doing the same on behalf of twitter We would absolutely be open to it and we You know we are suggesting going a step Further Um which is aligned with what you’re Introducing in the pack deck which is Much more transparency around our Process The content moderation process uh and Also the results The outcomes and doing that on a regular Basis i do Agree and think that builds more Accountability and ultimately that that Lends itself to more trust great thank You All right very quickly i don’t have a Lot of time either but i often hear From conservative and religious Americans who Who look at the public statements of Your companies The uh geographic concentration

Of your companies and the political Donations of your employees which often Are in the 80 to 90 percent to democrat Politicians And you can see why this lack of Ideological diversity among The executives and employees of your Company could be problematic and may be Contributing To some of the distrust among Conservatives and republican users and So I guess the question that i would ask is And and Mr zuckerberg my understanding is that The person that’s in charge of election Integrity and security at facebook is A former uh joe biden staffer um Is there someone that’s closely Associated with president trump who’s in The same sort of election Integrity role at facebook and uh What how do you all respond to that Argument That there isn’t sufficient balance um In terms of the the political ideology Or diversity in your companies And how do you deal with the the lack of Sort of trust that creates among Conservatives let’s see if we can have Three brief answers there Um senator i think having balances Is valuable and we we try to do that i’m I’m i’m not aware of the

Example that you say of someone in Charge of the This process who worked for um for biden In the past So we can follow up on on that if that’s If that’s right follow up on the record For the rest of this answer please mr Zuckerberg thank you All right mr dorsey Well this is why i do believe it’s Important to have more transparency Around our Process and our practices and it’s Independent of The viewpoints that our employees hold We need to make sure that we’re showing People that We have objective policies and Enforcement And mr pakkai um In these teams uh there are people who Are Uh liberal republican libertarian and so On uh we are committed we consult widely With Uh important third party organizations Across both sites when we develop our Policies And you know as a ceo i’m committed to Running it without any political bias But happy to engage more an answer Thank you gentlemen and thank you Senator thune the ranking member has now Deferred to

Senator blumenthal sir you are Recognized thanks mr chairman Uh and thank you to the ranking member i Want to begin by Associating myself with the very Thoughtful Comments made by the ranking member As to the need for broader consideration Of issues of privacy And competition and local news They are vitally important and also with The comments made by My colleagues senator klobuchar about The need for antitrust review And i assume we’ll be examining some of These topics In november before the judiciary Committee You know i’ve been an advocate of reform Of section 230 for literally 15 years When i was attorney general of the state Of connecticut i Uh raised this issue of the absolute Immunity that no longer seems Appropriate so i really welcome the Bipartisan consensus that we’re seeing Now That there needs to be uh constructive Review But frankly i am appalled That my republican colleagues are Holding this hearing literally days Before an election when They seem to want to bully

And browbeat the Platforms here to try to Tilt them toward president Trump favor uh the the timing Seems inexplicable except To game the ref in effect Uh i recognize the referee analogy is Not Completely exact but that’s exactly what They’re trying to do Namely to bully and browbeat These platforms to favor senator President trump’s tweets and posts And frankly president trump has broken All the norms and he has Put on your platforms potentially Dangerous and lethal Misinformation and disinformation i’m Going to hold up one of them This one as you can see pertains to Covid We have learned to live with it he says Just like we are learning to live with Kobe talking about the flu we have Learned to live with it In most populations far less lethal Uh he has said That children i would say almost Definitely But almost immune from this disease He has said about the elections big Problems And discrepancies with mail-in ballots All over the usa

Must have final total on november 3rd Fortunately the platforms are acting To label or take down these kinds of Posts But my republican colleagues have been Silent they’ve lost their Phones or their voices and The platforms in my view have Now we just lost your voice there in In mid sentence richard Um let’s suspend for just a minute till We get Uh i hope you can hear me now there we Are okay That we can hear you now senator Blumenthal Um just a a Start back one sentence before we we had You until then Uh i just want to say about this this Information From the president there’s been Definitely silence from my republican Colleague And now we have hearing that Is in effect designed to Intimidate fully browbeat the platforms That have labeled this in Disinformation for exactly what it is uh We’re on the verge of a massive Onslaught on the integrity Of our elections President trump has indicated that he Will

Potentially interfere by posting Disinformation on election day or The morning after the russians have Begun already interfering in our Elections we’ve all received Briefings that are literally chilling About what they are doing and the fbi And the csis Have recently issued public alerts That quote foreign actors and cyber Criminals Likely to spread disinformation Regarding 2020 Results they are making 2016 look like Child’s play in what they Are doing so President trump and the republicans have A plan which involves disinformation And misinformation the russians have a Plan I want to know whether uh You have a plan facebook Twitter google a plan If the president Uses your platform to say On the day of the election That there is rigging Or fraud without any basis in evidence Or attempts to say that The election is over and the voting Accounting of votes must stop either On november 4th or some day subsequent And i would like As to this question about whether you

Have a plan A yes or no We do we have policies uh Related to all of the areas that you Just mentioned um Candidates or or campaigns trying to Delegitimize Methods of voting or the election Candidates trying to prematurely Declare victory and candidates trying to Spread voter suppression material That is misleading about how when um Or or where to vote uh so we’re We’re we’ve taken a number of steps on That front perhaps we could take mr Makai next and then mr dorsey Mr picking uh senator Yes uh we definitely are robustly we’ve Been planning for a while and Uh we we rely on raising up On news sources through moments like That uh as well as We’ve closely partnered with the Associated press to make sure we can Provide users The most accurate information possible And yes we also we also have a plan um So you know our plan and our enforcement Around these issues is pointing To more information and specifically State election officials So we want to give the people using the Service as much information as possible Thank you senator blumenthal senator

Cruz Chairman i want to thank you mr chairman For holding this hearing The three witnesses we have before this Committee today collectively pose I believe the single greatest threat to Free speech in america And the greatest threat we have to free And fair elections Yesterday i spent a considerable amount Of time speaking with both mr zuckerberg And mr pachai I have concerns about the behavior of Both of their companies I would note that facebook is at the Minimum at least trying to make some Efforts in the direction of defending Free speech I appreciate their doing so google I agree with the concerns that senator Klobuchar raised I think google has more power than any Company on the face of the planet And the antitrust concerns are real the Impact of google is profound And i expect we will have continued and Ongoing discussions about google’s abuse Of that power and its willingness to Manipulate search outcomes To influence and change election results But today i want to focus my questioning On mr dorsey and on twitter because of The three players before us i think Twitter’s conduct has by far

Been the most egregious Mr dorsey does twitter have the ability To influence elections no You don’t believe twitter has any Ability to influence elections No we are one part of a spectrum of Communication challenges that people Have So you’re testifying to this committee Right now that that twitter when it Silences people when it censors people When it blocks political speech That has no impact on elections people People have choice of other Communication channels with which Not if they don’t hear information if You don’t think you have the power to Influence elections why do you block Anything Uh well we have policies that are Focused on making sure that more voices On the platform are possible We see a lot of abuse and harassment Which ends up silencing people and Having them leave from the platform All right mr dorsey i find your opening Questions your opening answers Absurd on their face let’s talk about The last two weeks in particular as you Know i have long been concerned about Twitter’s Pattern of censoring and silencing Individual americans with whom Twitter disagrees but two weeks ago

Twitter and to a lesser extent facebook Crossed a threshold that is fundamental In our country Two weeks ago twitter made the Unilateral decision To censor the new york post in a series Of two blockbuster articles Both alleging evidence of corruption Against joe biden the first concerning Ukraine The second concerning communist china And twitter made the decision number one To prevent users any user From sharing those stories and number Two You went even further and blocked the New york post from Sharing on twitter its own reporting Why did twitter make the decision to Censor the new york post We had a hack materials policy um When’s that policy adopted uh in 2018 i Believe In 2018 go ahead what was what was the Policy so the policy is around Um limiting the spread of materials That are hacked we didn’t want twitter To be a distributor for hack materials We found that the new york post because It showed the direct materials Screenshots of the correct Materials and it was unclear how those Were attained That it felt that it fell under this

Policy now So in your view if it’s unclear the Source of a document in this instance The new york post Documented what it said the source was Which it said it was a A laptop owned by hunter biden that had Been turned into a Repair store so they weren’t hiding what They claimed to be the source Is it your position that twitter when You can’t tell the source blocks Blocks press stories no not at all Um we our team made a fast decision Uh the enforcement action however of Blocking urls Both in tweets and uh in dm In direct messages we believe was Incorrect and we changed it Today the new york post is still blocked From tweeting Two weeks later yes they have to log Into their account which they can do at This minute Delete the original tweet which fell Under our original enforcement actions And they can tweet the exact same Material from the exact same article and It would go through So mr doran so your ability is you have The power to force a media out and let’s Be clear The new york post isn’t just some random Guy

Tweeting the new york post has the Fourth highest circulation of any Newspaper in america the new york post Is over 200 years old the new york post was Founded by alexander Hamilton and your position is that that You can sit in silicon valley and demand Of the media That you can tell them what stories they Can publish and you can tell the American people what reporting they can Hear is that right No this was this was a you know every Person Every account uh every uh organization That signs up to twitter Agrees to terms of service in terms of Service So media outlets must genuflect and obey Your dictates If they wish to be able to communicate With readers is that right No not at all we you know we we Recognized an error In this policy and specifically the Enforcement you’re still blocking their Opponents You’re still blocking their posts right Now today you’re blocking their posts We’re not blocking the post anyone can Tweet Can the new york post uh post on their On their twitter account

If they go into their account no is your Answer to that And agree with your dictates let me ask You something you claimed it was because Of a hacked materials Uh policy i find that facially Uh highly dubious and clearly Employed in in a deeply partial way Did twitter block the distribution of The new york times story a few weeks ago That purported to be based on copies of President trump’s tax returns We didn’t find that a violation of our Terms of service and this policy In particular because there’s reporting About the material it wasn’t Distributing the material okay well That’s actually not true they posted What they purported to be original Source materials And federal law federal statute makes it A crime a federal Felony to distribute someone’s tax Returns against their knowledge so that Material was based on something That was distributed in violation of Federal law and yet twitter Gleefully allowed people to circulate That But when the article was critical of joe Biden Twitter engaged in rampant uh censorship And silencing And again we recognized errors in that

Policy we we changed it within 24 hours This is this is you’re still watching The new york post you haven’t changed it We have changed it they can log into Their account delete the original tweet You forced the politico reporter to take Down his post about the new york post as Well is that correct Within that 24-hour period yes but we You know as the policy has changed Anyone can tweet you can send Presumably you can censor the new york Times or any other media outlet Mr dorsey who the hell elected You and put you in charge of what the Media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear And why do you persist in behaving as a Democratic super pac silencing Views to the contrary of your political Beliefs let’s give Mr dorsey a few seconds to answer that And Then we’ll have to conclude this this Segment Well we’re not doing that and this is Why I opened um this hearing with calls for More transparency we realize We need to earn trust more we realize That more accountability is needed to Show Our intentions and to show the outcomes Thank you so i i hear the concerns

And acknowledge them but we want to fix It with More transparency thank you senator cruz The Ranking member has deferred now to Senator schatz Who joins us remotely sir you are Recognized Thank you mr chairman thank you ranking Member You know this is an unusual hearing at An unusual time I have never seen a hearing so close to An election On any topic let alone on something that Is so obviously A violation of our obligation under the Law And the rules of the senate to stay out Of electioneering We never do this and there is a very Good reason that we don’t call People before us to yell at them For not doing our bidding during an Election It is a misuse of taxpayer dollars What’s happening here is a scar on this Committee And the united states senate what we are Seeing today Is an attempt to bully the ceos of Private companies into carrying out a Hit job At a presidential candidate by making

Sure that they push out Foreign and domestic misinformation Meant to influence the election to our Witnesses today You and other tech leaders need to stand Up to this immoral behavior The truth is that because some of my Colleagues accuse you Your companies and your employees of Being Biased or liberal you have Institutionally Bent over backwards and over compensated You’ve hired republican operatives Hosted private dinners with republican Leaders and in contravention over your Terms of service Given special dispensation to right-wing Voices And even throttled progressive Journalism Simply put the republicans have been Successful In this play and so during one of the Most consequential Elections in american history my Colleagues are trying to run this play Again And it is an embarrassment I have plenty of questions for the Witnesses on section 230 on antitrust On privacy on anti-semitism on their Relationship with journalism But we have to call this hearing what it

Is it’s a sham And so for the first time in my eight Years in the united states senate I’m not going to use my time to ask any Questions because this is nonsense And it’s not going to work this time This play my colleagues are running did Not start today And it’s not just happening here in the Senate it is a coordinated effort by Republicans Across the government last may president Trump Issued an executive order designed to Narrow the protections of section 230 To discourage platforms from engaging in Content moderation On their own sites after it was issued President trump Started tweeting that section 230 should Be repealed As if he understands section 230. in the Last six months president trump has Tweeted repeal section 230 Five times in addition to other tweets That in which he’s threatened the tech Companies A few weeks later president trump Withdrew the nomination Of fcc commissioner mike o’reilly Republican commissioner o’reilly Questioned the fcc’s authority to Regulate under section 230 And the statute is not unclear on this

President trump Then nominated nathan simmington Who was the drafter of ntia’s petition To the fcc Regarding section 230. and republican Senators have enthusiastically Participated Since june of this year six republican Only bills Have been introduced all of which Threaten platforms Uh ability to moderate content on their Site And as the election draws closer this Republican effort has become more And more aggressive september 23 Doj unveiled unveiled its own section 230 draft legislation That would narrow the protections under The current law and discourage platforms From moderating content on their own Site september 14th and october 1st respectively Senators holly and kennedy tried to pass Their Republican only section 230 bills you Know Live unanimous consent now what that Means is they went down to the floor and Without a legislative hearing Without any input from democrats at all They tried to pass something so Foundational to the internet Unanimously without any discussion and

Any debate On the same day as senator kennedy’s uc Attempt senator wicker forced The commerce committee without any Discussion or negotiation beforehand To vote on subpoenaing the ceos of Twitter facebook and google To testify that’s why we’re here today Two weeks later on october 14th justice Clarence thomas on his own issued a Statement that appeared to support the Narrowing of the court’s Interpretation on section 230. The very next day the fcc chairman ajit Pai announced that the fcc would seek to Clarify The meaning of section 230. on that day Senator graham announced that the Judiciary committee would vote to Subpoena The tech companies over the content Moderation and the context of this In addition to everything is that Senators senator cruz is on maria Bartoromo Talking about a blockbuster story from The new york post Senator holly is on fox and on the Senate floor and the commerce committee Itself is tweeting out a campaign-style Uh video that sort of alarmingly says Hunter biden’s emails Tech censorship on october 21st senator Hawley re-attempted to pass his bill

On section 230 via uc again without Going through any Committee markup or vote and on friday Senator graham announced that the ceos Of facebook and twitter would testify Before the senate judiciary committee on November 17th This is bullying and it is for electoral Purposes Do not let the united states senate Bully you Into carrying the water for those who Want to advance misinformation And don’t let the specter of removing Section 230 protections Or an amendment to antitrust law or any Other kinds of threats Cause you to be a party to the Subversion Of our democracy i will be glad to Participate in good faith bipartisan Hearings On these issues when the election is Over But this is not that thank you Thank you senator schatz Next is senator fisher Thank you mr chairman gentlemen i’m not Here to bully you Today and i am certainly not here to Read Any kind of political statement right Before an election To me this hearing is not a sham

I am here to gain some clarity On the policies that that you use I am here to look at Your proposals for more transparency Because your platforms have become an Integral part of our democratic process Or both candidates but also more Importantly for our citizens as well Your platforms also have enormous power To manipulate user behavior and to Direct contact content and to Shape narratives mr dorsey I i heard your opening statement i’ve Read it You also tweeted that the concept Of good faith is what’s being challenged By many of you here today Some of you don’t trust we’re acting in Good faith That’s the problem i want to focus on Solving So mr dorsey why should we trust you With so much power in other words why Shouldn’t We regulate you more Well the suggestions we’re making around Around more transparency um is how we Want to build that trust We we do agree that we should be Publishing more Of our practice of content moderation We’ve made decisions To moderate content we’ve made decisions Moderate content to

Make sure that we are enabling as many Voices on our platform as possible And i acknowledge and completely agree With the concerns that it feels like A black box and anything that we can do To bring transparency to it including Publishing Our policies our practices answering Very simple questions around how content Is moderated and then doing what we can Around the growing trend of algorithms Moderating more of this content as i Said This one is a tough one to actually Bring transparency to A explainability in ai is is a field of Research but it is far out And i think a better opportunity Is giving people more choice around the Algorithms they use Including people to turn off the Algorithms completely which is what We’re attempting to do So right but you you can understand uh The concerns that That people have uh when when they see That um what many consider you’re making Value judgments On what’s going to be on your platforms You say users can report Content and then and then you take Action But certainly you can understand Um that that people are very um

Concerned they’re very worried about What they see as You know manipulation on your part And to say you’re going to have more Transparency and Um yeah that’s Sir i would say with respect i don’t i Don’t think that’s enough just to say You’re you’re going to have that Transparency there and And you’re not uh influencing people Because As any time a free press Is uh blocked um on both sides Uh what we would view in the political World as both sides here When views aren’t able to be expressed That does have a huge amount of Influence I i completely understand i agree that It’s not enough i don’t think Transparency alone addresses these Concerns i think we have to Continue to push for a more Straightforward and fast And efficient appeals process and i do Believe we need to look deeply at Algorithms and how they’re used and how People have choice On how to use those algorithms or Whether they use them But ultimately somebody makes a decision Where does the buck stop With the algorithm you know where does

The buck stop who’s going to make a Value Judgment because in my opinion it is a Value judgment Well ultimately i’m accountable to all The decisions that the company makes but We want to make sure that we’re Providing clear frameworks That are objective and that can be Tested and that we have multiple Checkpoints Associated with them so that we can Learn quickly if we’re doing something In there And when when your company Amplifies some content over others Is it fair for you to have legal Protections For your actions uh we believe so Keep in mind a lot of our algorithms Recommending content Is focused on saving people time so We’re ranking Things that people we the the algorithms Believe People would find most relevant most Valuable in the time But it’s your value judgment on what Those people would find most relevant No it’s not about your judgment it’s Based on engagement metrics it’s based On Who you follow it’s based on activity You take on on the network

Mr zuckerberg with your ever expanding Content Moderation policies are you materially Involved in that Content Senator yes i i spend a Meaningful amount of time on making sure That we get our content policies and Enforcement right Okay thank you what if any changes do You think Should be made to section 230 to address The specific concerns Regarding content moderation that you’ve Heard so far this morning Uh senator i would outline a couple First i agree with Jack that uh increasing transparency Into the content moderation process Uh would be an important step for Building trust and accountability One thing that we already do at facebook Is Every quarter uh we issue a transparency Report Where for each of the 20 or so Categories of harmful content that we Are trying to address so terrorism child Exploitation Um incitement of violence um Pornography different types of content Um We issue a report on how we’re doing What the prevalence of that content is

On our network And what percent of it our systems are Able to take down before someone even Has to report it to us And what the precision is in the the and And Basically how accurate our systems are Dealing with it and getting to the point Where Um you know everyone across the industry Is reporting on On a baseline uh like that i think would Be Valuable for people to uh have these Discussions not just about anecdotes of Okay i saw a piece of content and i I’m not necessarily sure i agree with How that was moderated it would allow The Conversation to move to data um so that Way we can understand Uh how these platforms are performing Overall and hold them accountable Thank you that issue with your answer i Think would be the The time involved that it wouldn’t be a An immediate response to have that Conversation as as you call it Um i hope that all three of you Gentlemen can answer That question in written questions so my Time as a thank you thank you senator Fisher I appreciate that we are going to to

Take now senator Cantwell’s uh questioning after which We are going to accommodate our Witnesses with a Five-minute recess so senator cantwell You are recognized Thank you mr chairman can you hear me i Surely can And can you see me this time i can now See you yes Okay well thank you mr chairman and This is such an important hearing i Agree with many of the statements My colleagues have had that this hearing Didn’t need to take place At this moment that the important Discussion About how we keep a thriving internet Economy And how we continue to make sure that Hate speech and misinformation is taken Down from the web Is something that would probably better Been done in january than now But here we are today and we’ve heard Some astounding things that i Definitely must refute first of all i’m Not going to take Lightly anybody who tries to undermine Mail-in Voting mail-in voting in the united States of america Is safe the state of washington the State of oregon

Have been doing it for years there is Nothing wrong with our mail-in system So i think that they’ll be secretaries Of state they’ll be Our law enforcement agencies who’ve Worked hard with state election Officials And others who will be talking about how This process Works and how we’re going to fight to Protect it i’m also going to not Demean an organization just because they Happen to be headquartered In the state of washington or to have Business there That somebody claims that just because The geography of a company Somehow makes it uber political for one Side of the aisle or another I seriously doubt i know that because i See many of you coming to the state of Washington for Republican fundraisers with these Officials i know you know Darn well that there are plenty of Republicans that work in high-tech firms So the notion that somehow these people Are are crossing the aisle because of Something and creating censorship The notion that free speech is about the Ability to say Things and it doesn’t take well maybe we Need to have a history lesson From high school again but yes free

Speech means that people can make Outrageous statements About their beliefs so i think that the Ceos are telling us here What their process is for taking down Health care information that’s in fact That’s not true That is a threat to the public and Information that is a threat To our democracy that is what they’re Talking about So i want to make it clear that this Hearing Could have happened at a later date and I don’t appreciate the misinformation That is coming across today that is Trying to undermine Our election process it is safe it is The backbone of what distinguishes America From other countries in the world we do Know how to have A safe and fair election And one of the ways that we’re doing That is to have these individuals Work with our law enforcement entities My colleague gary peters made it very Clear They successfully helped stop a threat On the governor of michigan And why because they were working with Them to make sure that information was Passed on So this is what we’re talking about

We’re talking about whether we’re going To be on the side Of freedom and information and whether We’re going to put our shoulder to the Wheel to continue to make sure that Engine is there Or whether we’re going to prematurely Try to get rid of 230 And squash free speech and so i want to Make sure that we continue to move Forward So mr zuckerberg i’d like to turn to you Because there was a time Where there was great concern about what Happened in myanmar About the government using information Against A muslim minority and you took action And reformed the system And just recently in september Uh facebook and twitter announced they Had suspended networks accounts Linked to various organizations and For use of techniques laundering Russian-backed websites accounts And derisive propaganda that we Associated with state Run attempts to interfere in our Elections so could you please mr Zuckerberg talk about what you are doing To make sure state-run Entities don’t interfere in u.s Elections Yes thank you senator since 2016

We’ve been building up uh some very Sophisticated systems To make sure that we can stop foreign Interference in elections not just in The us but all around the world And a lot of this involves building up Ai Systems to identify when clusters of Accounts aren’t behaving in the way that A normal person would they’re behaving As fake accounts in some coordinated way A lot of this is also about forming Partnerships The the tech companies here today work More closely together to share signals About what’s happening on the different Platforms to be able to combat these Threats Um as well as working more closely with Law enforcement and intelligence Communities Around the world and the net result of That is that over the last few years Um we’ve taken down more than a hundred Networks that were potentially Attempting to Um to spread misinformation or interfere Um A lot of them were coming from russia or Iran A growing number from china as well um And at this point i’m i’m proud that um You know our company and and as well as The others in the industry i think have

Built systems That are are very effective at this it’s We can’t stop Uh countries like russia from trying to Interfere in an election only the u.s Government Can can really push back and with the Appropriate leverage to do that But we have built up systems to make Sure that we can We can identify much faster when they’re Attempting to do that Um and i think that that should give the American people Um a good amount of confidence leading Into this election And is it true that those entities are Trying to find domestic sources to help With that misinformation Senator yes the the tactics of these Different governments Um are certainly evolving um including Trying to find People outside of their country and in Some cases We’re seeing domestic interference Operations um As well and the systems have had to Evolve to be able to Identify and take those down as well um Of the Hundred or so uh networks that i just Cited that we took down Um about half were domestic operations

At this point And that’s in various countries around The world not primarily in the us Um but but this is is a global Phenomenon that we need to make sure That we continue Pushing forward aggressively on thank You thank you mr makai Chai i’d like to turn to you for a Second because i do want information From facebook on this point too but i’d Like to turn to you There’s information now from media Organizations That it may be as much as 30 to 50 Percent Of google ad revenue of that That broadcasters and newsprint are Losing somewhere between 30 and 50 Percent Of their revenue that they could be Getting to newspapers and broadcasting Losing it to the formats that google has As it relates to Their platform and ad information can You Confirm what information you have about This And do you think that google is taking Ad revenue From these news sources in an unfair way Senator it’s an important topic it’s a Complex topic i do think journalism as You rightfully have called

Attention to it particularly local Journalism is very important The internet has been a tremendously Disrupting force And the pandemic has exacerbated it and Today as google you know i would make The case that we Believe in raising news across our Products Uh because we realize the importance of Journalism we send a lot of traffic to News publishers All the ad technology questions i’m Getting asked today we invest in ad Technology share a majority of revenue Back to publishers Uh we are investing in subscription Products we have committed two billion Dollars in new licensing over the next Three years to news organizations We have set up local emergency fund Through Coed for local journalistic institutions Uh i can give plenty of examples but the Underlying forces which are Impacting the industry which is the Internet and whether it’s google if not Google Advertisers are finding alternate Sources yeah i’m i don’t i don’t have a Clock on base i don’t know how much time I have to You know you’re a minute and a half over But so let’s see okay well i’ll just

Leave it with this that That mister you hit on the key word Majority i don’t think that you return The majority of the revenue To these broadcast entities i do think It’s a problem yes they’ve had to make It through the transformation which is a Rocky transformation But we need the message from today’s Hearing is the free press Needs to live and be supported by all of Us And we look forward to discussing how we Can make sure that they get fair return On their value thank you mr chairman Thank you senator cantwell we will now Take a five five-minute recess And uh and and then we’ll begin with Most of our members have not yet had a Chance to ask questions Uh the community is in recess for five Minutes So Know Surrender Uh So I [Music] Thank you so much So Oh my gosh You Oh

You Um Here Um So Oh Uh Okay Um Okay this hearing will return to order And we understand that senator moran Is next so sir you are recognized Chairman liquor thank you very much uh And thank you for You and senator cantwell hosting this Hearing uh let me Address uh an initially the the topic That seems to be primary today and then A Time data privacy uh let me ask all Three witnesses How much money does your company spend Annually on content moderation how many People Work uh in general in the area of Content Moderation including uh by private Contract Uh let me just start with those two Questions ultimately i also want to ask You how much money does your company Spend In defending lawsuits stemming from user Content on the platform

Okay mr zuckerberg you want to go first There Senator we have more than 35 000 people Who work on content Uh and safety review and i believe Our budget is um Multiple billions of dollars a year um On this i think Upwards of three um Or or maybe even more billion dollars a Year which Um you know there’s a greater amount in Revenue Right and that we’re spending on this Than the whole revenue of our company Was Um the year before we filed to go public In 2012. Uh senator uh we we use both the Combination of uh human reviewers and uh Ai moderation systems uh we we have A well over uh 10 000 reviewers and we Are investing There uh significantly and you know i Would i would again I’m not sure of the exact numbers but i Would i would say it’s in the order of Over a billion dollars We spend on these things thank you mr Dorsey I i don’t have the specific numbers but We want to maintain Um agility between the people that we Have working on this

And also just building better technology To to automate it so Our goal is flexibility here Let me ask the question again about how Much would you estimate That your company is currently spending On defending lawsuits Related to user content in the same Order Okay senator i don’t know the answer to That off the top of my head But i can i can get back to you thank You Senator we we do spend a lot on uh legal Lawsuits Uh but not sure what of it applies to uh Content related issues but happy to Follow Thank you and i i don’t have those Those numbers let me use your answers to Highlight something that i Want to be a topic of our conversation As we debate this legislation Whatever the numbers are you indicate That they are significant It’s a enormous amount of money and an Enormous amount of employee time Uh contract labor time in dealing with Modification of content these comp these These efforts are expensive and i would Highlight for My colleagues on the committee that they Will not be any Less expensive perhaps less in scale but

Not Less in cost for startups And small businesses and as we develop Our policies in regard to this topic i Want to make certain that Entrepreneurship Startup businesses and Small business are considered in what it Would cost In their efforts to meet the kind of Standards That um to operate in the sphere Let me quickly turn to federal privacy i Chair the consumer Data privacy security act we’ve tried For months senator blumenthal and i Uh to develop a bipartisan piece of Legislation We became we were close but unsuccessful In doing so Let me ask um mr zuckerberg facebook Book entered into a Consent order with the ftc in july of 12 2012 for violations of the ftc Act and later agreed to pay a five Billion dollar penalty Along with a robust settlement order in 2018 Following the cambria analytica incident That violated the 2012 order uh my Legislation would provide the fdc with First-time Civil penalty authority do you think This type of enforcement tool for the

Ftc Would better deter unfair and deceptive Practices Than the current enforcement regime Senator i would need to understand it in A little bit more detail before Um before weighing in on this but i Think that the the settlement that we Have with the ftc um We’re going to be setting up an industry Leading privacy program we have I think more than a thousand engineers Working on the privacy program Uh now and it um You know we’re basically implementing a A program which is Sort of the equivalent of Sarbanes-oxley’s uh financial Uh regulation around kind of internal Auditing and controls around Privacy and protecting people’s data as Well so i think that that Uh settlement will be uh quite effective In in ensuring that people’s Uh data and privacy are protected Mr pichai google youtube’s 170 million Dollar settlement With the ftc in the state of new york New york for Alleged violations of kappa Involve persistent identifiers How should federal legislation address Persistent identifiers for consumers Over the age of 13.

Uh senator uh we today have Invested we’ve done two things as a Company we have invested in One of a kind product called youtube Kids where content can be safe for Kids obviously on the youtube main Product uh Today the way internet gets used uh Families to view content and part of our Settlement was Uh adapting so that we can accommodate For those use cases as well Uh you know privacy is one of the most Important areas we invest in as a Company Have thousands of engineers working on It we believe in giving users control Choice and transparency And anytime we associate data with users We are transparent they can go see what Data is there We give them delete controls We give data portability options and Just Last year we announced an important Change by which for all new users We delete the data automatically without Them Needing to do anything and we encourage Users to go through privacy checkup over A billion people have gone through their Privacy checkups and uh you know it’s a It’s an area where we are investing Significantly

Uh thank you chairman i don’t see my Time clock do i have time for one more You you really don’t we your time has Just expired but thank you very much for Uh mr chairman thank you Thank you so much senator markey Um thank you mr chairman very much um Today trump his republican allies in Congress And his propaganda parents on fox news Are peddling a myth and today my Republican colleagues Uh on the senate commerce committee are Simply doing The president’s bidding let’s be clear Republicans can and should join us In addressing the real problems posed by Big tech But instead my republican colleagues are Determined to feed A false narrative about Anti-conservative bias Meant to intimidate big tech so it will Stand idly by And allow interference in our election Again here’s the truth violence and hate Speech Online are real problems Anti-bias A problem our foreign Attempts to influence our election with Disinformation Are real problems anti-conservative bias Is not a problem the big tech business

Model which puts profits ahead of people Is a real problem anti-conservative bias Is not a problem the issue is not That the companies before us today are Taking too many posts down The issue is that they’re leaving too Many dangerous posts Up in fact they’re amplifying Harmful content so that it spreads like Wildfire And tortures our democracy mr zuckerberg When President trump posted on facebook That when the looting starts the Shooting starts You fail to take down that post within a Day The post had hundreds of thousands of Shares And likes on facebook since then the President has gone on national Television And told a hate group to quote stand by And he has repeatedly refused to commit That he will accept the election results Mr zuckerberg can you commit that if the President Goes on facebook and encourages violence Election results are announced that you Will make sure your company’s Algorithms don’t spread that content And you will immediately remove those Messages Senator yes uh incitement of violence is

Against our policy And there are not exceptions to that Including for Politicians there are exceptions did you Say There are not exceptions there are no Exceptions which is Very important because obviously Um there could be a message to messages That Are sent that could throw our democracy Into chaos uh and a lot of it Can be and will be created if social Media Sites do not police what the president Says Mr zuckerberg if president trump shares Russian or iranian disinformation Uh lying about the outcome of the Election can you commit that you will Make sure your algorithms Do not amplify that content and that you Will immediately take that Content down senator we have a policy In place that prevents any candidate or Campaign Um from prematurely declaring Victory or trying to delegitimize the Result of the election and what we will Do in that case Is we will append some factual Information To any post that is trying to do that so If someone says that they won the

Election when the result isn’t in For example we will append a piece of Information to that thing that official Election results are not in yet um so That way Anyone who sees that post will see That context in line and also if one of The candidates Uh tries to prematurely declare victory Or cite an incorrect result Um we have a precaution that we’ve built In to put at the top of the facebook app For everyone who signs in in the u.s Information about the accurate uh u.s Election voting results i think that This is a very important Issue to make sure that that people can Get accurate information about the Results of the election Yeah it cannot be uh stated as being Uh anything less than critically Important democracy Could be seriously challenged beginning Next tuesday evening and for several Days Afterwards maybe longer and a lot of Responsibility is going to be On the shoulders of facebook and our Other witnesses today Mr zuckerberg if president trump uses His facebook account to call for armed Private citizens to patrol the polls on Election day which would constitute Illegal illegal voter intimidation and

Violation Of the voting rights act will you commit That your algorithms Will not spread that content and that You will immediately Take that content down Senator my understanding is that content Like what you’re saying would violate Our voter suppression Policies and um and would come down Okay again mistakes are going to be very High and We’re going to take that as a commitment Uh that uh That you will do that because obviously Uh we would otherwise have a serious Uh question mark placed over our Elections We know facebook cares about one thing Using keeping users glued to its Platform one of the ways you Do that is with facebook groups mr Zuckerberg in 2017 You announced the goal of one billion Users joining facebook groups Unfortunately these forum pages have Become breeding grounds for hate Echo chambers of misinformation and Venues for coordination Of violence again facebook is not only Failing to take these pages down It is actively spreading these pages and Helping these groups recruitment Efforts facebook’s own internal research

Found that 64 Of all extremist group joins are due to Facebook’s recommendation tools mr Zuckerberg Will you commit to stopping all group Recommendations on your platform Until u.s election results are certified Yes or no uh Senator we have taken the step of Stopping recommendations and groups for Um for all political content or social Issue groups as a precaution for this Um but just to clarify one thing the Vast vast majority of groups and Communities that people are part of Um are are are not extremist Organizations are even political they’re They’re interest-based and In communities that i think are quite um Helpful and healthy for people to be a Part of Um i do think we need to make sure that Our recommendation Uh algorithm doesn’t encourage people to Join Uh extremist groups that’s something That we uh have already taken a number Of steps on and i agree with you is very Important that we continue to make Progress Well your algorithms are promoting Online spaces that foster political Violence at the very least you should Disable

Those algorithms that are recruiting Users during this most sensitive period Of our democracy thank you thank you mr Chair thank you senator markey Mr zuckerberg let me just ask you this In these Scenarios that senator markey Was posing that the action of facebook Would not be a function of algorithms In those cases would it Senator i i think that that’s a that You’re right and that that’s a good Clarification A lot of this is more about uh Enforcement of content policies Um some of the questions were about Algorithms i think group ranking is Is an algorithm but but broadly i think A lot of it is content enforcement Thank you for clarifying that senator Blackburn you are recognized Thank you mr chairman and i want to Thank each of you for Coming to us voluntarily we appreciate That There are undoubtedly benefits to using Your platforms as you have heard Everyone mentioned today there are also Some concerns which are also hearing Privacy free speech politics uh Religion and uh i have kind of chuckled As i’ve sat here listening to you all That book valley of the gods It reminds me that you all are kind

Of in control of what people are going To Hear what they’re going to see uh And therefore you have the ability to Dictate Uh what is coming in what information is Coming into them and i think it’s Important to realize You know you’re set up as an information Source Not as a news media And so therefore censoring things that You all think unseemly May be something that is not unseemly to People in Other parts of the country but let me Ask each of you very quickly do Any of you have any content moderators Who are conservatives Mr dorsey first yes or no But we don’t ask a political ideology Okay mr zuckerberg Senator we don’t ask for their ideology But just statistically there are 35 000 Of them in Cities and places all across the country And world so i would imagine yes Mr patai the answer would be yes because We hired them Out you know through the united states Okay All right and uh looking at Some of your censoring uh mr dorsey you All have censored joe biden

Zero times you have censored donald Trump 65 times so i want to go back To con uh senator gardner’s questions You claimed Earlier that the holocaust denial And threats of jewish genocide by iran’s Terrorist ayatollah don’t violate Twitter so-called rules And that it’s important for world Leaders like iran’s terrorist leader To have a platform on twitter so let me Ask you this Who elected the ayatollah Um i don’t know you don’t know okay Uh i think this is called a dictatorship So are people in iran allowed to use Twitter Or does the country whose leader you Claim deserves the platform Banned them from doing so Uh ideally we would love for the people Of iran to to use twitter Well ron van’s twitter and mr zuckerberg I know you Are aware they banned facebook also So mr dorsey is donald trump a world Leader Yes okay so it would be important for World leaders to have Access to your platform correct Correct and so why do you deny that Platform via censorship to the u.s President

We haven’t censored the u.s president oh Yes you have How many posts from iran’s terrorist Ayatollah have you censored How many posts from vladimir putin have You censored We have we have label tweets of world Leaders we have a policy around not Taking down the content But simply adding more context around it Okay And the us president you have censored 65 Times you testified that you’re worried About disinformation and election Interference That is something we all worry about and Of course For about a hundred years foreign Sources have been Trying to influence u.s policy in u.s Elections now they’re onto your Platforms They see this as a way to get access To the american people so given your Refusal to censor or ban Foreign dictators while regularly Censoring the president Aren’t you at this very moment Personally responsible For flooding the nation with foreign Disinformation Just to be clear we we have not censored The president we have not um

Taken the tweets down that you’re Referencing um they have more context Than a label Uh applied to them and we do the same For leaders around the world Okay uh let me ask you this do you share Any of your data mining and this is to Each Of the three of you do you share any of Your data mining with the democrat National committee I’m not sure what you mean by the Question but we have a We have a data platform that we have a Number of customers um I’m not sure um of the customer list Okay and you said you don’t keep lists i Made that Note All right okay mr pajay Is blake lemoine one of your engineers Still working with you Uh senator i’m familiar with his name uh As a name As an employee i’m not sure he’s Currently an employee Okay um well he has had very unconscious Things to say about me and i was just Wondering if you all had still Kept him working there also i want to Mention With you mr pakai uh the way you all Have censored uh some things google Searches for joe biden generated

Approximately thirty thousand Impressions um for Breitbart links this was on may one and After may Fifth both the impressions and the Clique clicks went to zero I hope that what you all realize from This hearing Is that there is a pattern You may not believe it exists but There is a pattern of subjective Manipulation of the information that is Available to people From your platforms what has driven Additional attention to this is the fact That More of a family’s functional life Is now being conducted online Because of this more people are Realizing That you are picking winners and losers You’re trying to mr zuckerberg years ago You said Facebook functioned more like a Government than a company And you’re beginning to To insert yourself into these Issues of free speech Mr zuckerberg with my time that is Left let me ask you This you mentioned Early in your remarks that you saw some Things As competing equities is the first

Amendment a given right or is that a Competing Equity Uh i i believe strongly in free Expression Um sorry if i was on mute there um But i do think that like all equities um It needs to it is balanced against Other equities like safety and privacy And even the people who believe In the strongest possible interpretation Of the first amendment Um still believe that there should be Some limits on speech when it could Cause imminent risk of physical harm the The kind of famous Example that’s used is that you can’t Shout fire in a crowded theater Uh so i think that getting those Equities and the balance right The challenge that we face the time has Expired perhaps we can apologize well we Believe in the first amendment And we are going to yes we will have Questions to follow up thank you mr Chairman i can’t see the clock Thank you senator udall Mr chairman thank you and senator Cantwell Really appreciate this hearing i want to Start by laying out Three facts the u.s intelligence Community has found that the russian Government

Is intent on election interference in The united states They did it in 2016. they’re doing it in 2020. The intelligence also says they want to Help President trump they did so in 2016. President president doesn’t like this to Be said But it’s a fact we also know that the Russian strategy this time around Is going after hunter biden so i Recognize that the details of how to Handle misinformation On the internet are tough but i think The companies like twitter and facebook That took action to not be a part of a Suspected russian election Interference operation were doing the Right thing And let me be clear no one believes These companies Represent the law or represent the Public When we say work the refs the u.s Government is the referee The fcc the congress the presidency And the supreme court are the referees It’s very dangerous for president trump Justice thomas And republicans in congress and at the Fcc To threaten new federal laws in order to Force social media companies

To amplify false claims To conspiracy theories and Disinformation campaigns And my question to all three of you do The rush does Do the russian government and other Foreign nations Continue to attempt to use your Company’s platforms to spread This information and influence the 2020 Election Can you briefly describe what you are Seeing Please start mr dorsey and then mr Pichai and mr Zuckerberg you gave an answer partially On this i’d like you to expand on that Answer Thank you Yes so we we do continue to see Interference we recently disclosed Actions we took On both russia and Actions originating out of iran We’ve made those disclosures public we Can You know share those with with your team But this Remains as you’ve heard from others On the panel and as mark has detailed One of our highest priorities And something we want to make sure that We are focused on Uh eliminating as much uh

Platform manipulation as possible Senator um we do continue to see Coordinated influence operation atoms We’ve been very vigilant we appreciate The cooperation we get from intelligence Agencies And these companies we are sharing Information to give you an example and We publish Uh transparency reports in june we Identified Uh efforts uh one from uh iran Group apd35 targeting the trump campaign One from china A group abd 31 targeting the biden Campaign Most of this were phishing attempts our Spam filters were able to remove Most of the emails out from reaching Users but we notified Intelligence agencies and that’s an Example of the kind of activity we see And you know i think it’s an area where We would need strong cooperation with Government Agencies moving forward Mr zuckerberg Senator uh like jack and sundar um You know we also see uh Continued attempts by russia and other Countries Especially iran and china to run these Kind of Information operations we also see an

Increase in Kind of domestic operations around the World Fortunately we’ve been able to build Partnerships across the industry Both of the companies here today and With law enforcement in the intelligence Community Um to be able to share signals to Identify these threats sooner And along the lines of what you Mentioned earlier um You know one of the threats that the fbi Has alerted our companies and the public To Was the possibility of a hack and leak Operation in the days or weeks leading Up to this election So you had both the public testimony From from the fbi Um and in in private meetings um Alerts that that were given to uh At least our company i assume the others As well That suggested that we’d be on high Alert and sensitivity That if a trove of documents appeared Uh that that we should view that with Suspicion Um that it might be part of a foreign Manipulation attempt So that’s what we’re seeing and i’m Happy to go into more detail as well if That’s helpful

Okay thank you very much and this one’s A really Simple question i think yes or no will You continue to push back Against this kind of foreign Interference even if powerful Republicans Threaten to take official action against Your companies Mr zuckerberg why don’t we start with You and work the other way back Senator absolutely this is incredibly Important for our democracy and we’re Committed to doing this work Senator uh absolutely protecting our Civic and democratic process is Fundamental to what we do and we will do Everything we can Yes and we will continue to work and Push back on any Uh manipulation of the platform Thank you for those answers mr Zuckerberg do facebook and other social Media networks Have an obligation to prevent Disinformation And malicious actors spreading Conspiracy theories Dangerous health disinformation and hate Speech Even if preventing its spread means less Traffic and potentially less advertising Revenue for facebook Senator in general yes i think that for

Foreign countries trying to interfere in Democracy I think that that is a relatively Clear-cut question Where i would hope that uh no one Disagrees that we we don’t want Uh foreign countries or governments Trying to interfere in our elections Whether through disinformation Or fake accounts or or anything like That Around health misinformation you know We’re in the middle of a pandemic It’s a it’s a health emergency i Certainly think that this is a high Sensitivity time So we’re treating with extra sensitivity Any misinformation That could lead to harm around kovid That would lead people to not get The right treatments or to not take the Right security precautions We do draw distinction between harmful Misinformation and Information that’s just wrong and we Take a harder line and more enforcement Against harmful misinformation Thank you thank you mr chairman thank You senator udall senator capito Thank you mr chairman and thank all of You for being uh with us today I would say that any time that we get we Can get the three of you In front of the american people uh

Whether it’s several days before an Election or several days After is extremely useful and and can be Very productive so i appreciate uh the Three of you Coming in the committee holding this Hearing as we’ve heard Americans turn every day to your Platforms for a lot of different Information I would like to give a shout out to mr Zuckerberg because the last time he was In Front of our committee i had asked him To uh Share the the the plenty of facebook Uh into rural america and and and help Us with our fiber deployments into rural America and when we see in this covet Environment We see how important that is and he Followed through with that I would like to thank him and his Company for helping partner with us in West virginia To get more people connected and i think That is an essential i would make a Suggestion as well maybe when we get to The end when we talk about fines What i think we could do with these Millions and billion dollar fines that Some of your companies have Have um been penalized on we could make It

We could make a great jump and get to That last household Uh but the topic today is uh on Objectionable content and how you make Those judgments so Quickly each one of you i know that in The section 230 It says that uh it’s the term is Objectionable content or Otherwise objectionable would you be Uh in favor of redefining that more Specifically that’s awful broad and That’s where i think some of these Questions become very difficult to Answer So we’ll start with uh mr mr dorsey On the how do you define otherwise Objectionable and objectionable And how can we improve that definition So that it’s easier to follow well Our interpretation of of objectional is Anything that is Limiting potentially the speech of Others a lot of our policies are focused On making sure that people feel safe To express themselves um and When we see abuse harassment misleading Information These are all threats against that and It makes people want to leave The internet makes makes people want to Leave These conversations online so that is What we’re trying to protect

Is making sure that people feel safe Enough And free enough to express themselves in Whatever way they wish So this a follow-up to that much has Been talked about the Uh blocking of the new york post Do you have an instance or for instance Of when you’ve actually blocked somebody That would be considered politically Liberal on the other side in the Political realm In this country do you have an example Of that to sort of offset where Where the new york post uh criticism has Come from Well we don’t have an understanding of The ideology of Any one particular account and that is Also not how our policies are written or Enforcement taken So i’m sure there are a number of Examples um But that that is not that is not our Focus we’re looking Purely at the violations of our policies Taking action against it Yeah mr zuckerberg how would you define Otherwise objectionable Objection or not how would you define it But how would you refine the Definition of that to make it uh more More objective than subjective Senator thank you when i look at the

Written language in section 230 And the content that we think shouldn’t Be allowed On our services um some of the things That we bucket in otherwise Objectionable content today Include general bullying and harassment Of people on the platform Um so somewhat similar to what jack was Just talking about a Minute ago and i would worry that some Of the proposals That suggest getting rid of the phrase Otherwise objectionable from section 230 Would limit our ability to remove Bullying and harassing content from our Platforms which i think would make them Uh worse places for for people so i Think we need to be very careful In how we think through that well thank You uh Mr uh mr pachai Uh maybe where i would add is that uh The content is so Dynamic youtube gets 500 hours per Minute Of video uploaded on an average every Any day search 15 percent of queries We’ve never seen before To give you an example a few years ago There was an issue around teenagers Consuming tight parts and it was a kind Of issue which was causing real harm When we run into those situations we are

Able to act with Certainty and protect our users the Christchurch shooting where there was a Live shooter uh you know live streaming Horrific images It was a learning moment for all our Platforms we were able to intervene Again with certainty and so that’s what Otherwise objectionable Allows and you know i think i think that Flexibility is what allows us to focus We always state with clear policies what We are doing Uh but i think it gives platforms of all Sizes uh you know flexibilities uh to Protect our users Thank you i think uh you know i’m Hearing from all three of you really That The definition you know is fairly Acceptable to you all in my view Sometimes I i think it can go too much to the eye Of a holder type of Uh the beholder being either a you all Or your reviewers or your ai and then it Gets into a region where Uh maybe it becomes so so very Subjective i want to move to a different Topic because In my personal conversations with at Least two of you um You’ve uh expressed the the need to have The 230 protections because of the

Protections that it gives to the small Innovators Well you sit in front of us and i think All of us are wondering Who how many small innovators and what Kind of market share could they Possibly have when we see the dominance Of of the three of you so how i Understand you started as small Innovators when you first started i get That um how can a small innovator really Break through And and what does 230 really have to do With the ability of a i’m skeptical on The argument quite frankly so Whoever wants to answer that um mr Zuckerberg you want to start Sure senator i do think that if when we Were getting started with Building facebook if we were subject to A larger number of Content lawsuits because 230 didn’t Exist that would have Likely made it prohibitive for me as a College student in a dorm room to Uh get started with this enterprise and I i think that Um it it may make sense to to Modify 230 at this point just to make Sure that it’s still working as intended But i think it’s extremely important That we make sure that Um that for smaller companies that are Getting started

The cost of having to comply with any Regulation Um is either waived until a certain Scale Or is is at a minimum taken into account As a serious factor to make sure that We’re not preventing the next set of Ideas from getting built Thank you thank you senator thank you mr Chairman thank you senator baldwin Uh thank you i’d like to begin by Making two points I believe the republicans have called This hearing in order to support A false narrative fabricated by the President to help his re-election Prospects And number two i believe that the tech Companies here today Need to take more action not less To combat misinformation including Misinformation on the election Misinformation on the coven 19 pandemic And misinformation and posts Meant to incite violence and that should Include Misinformation spread by president trump On their platforms so i want to start With asking the committee clerk to Bring up my first slide Um mr dorsey i appreciate the work that Twitter has done To flag or even take down false or Misleading information about program 19

Such as this october 11th tweet by the President Claiming he has immunity from the virus After contracting it and recovering Contrary to what the medical community Tells us Just yesterday morning the president Tweeted this That the media is incorrectly focused on The pandemic And that our nation is quote rounding The turn On covet 19. in fact according to Johns hopkins university in the past Week The seven-day national average of new Cases Reached its highest level ever and in my Home state of wisconsin Case counts continue to reach record Levels Yesterday wisconsin set a new record With 64 deaths And 5 462 New confirmed cases of covet 19. That is not rounding the turn but it’s Also not a tweet that was flagged Or taken down mr dorsey given the volume Of misleading posts about covet 19 Out there do you prioritize removal Based on something like the reach or Audience of a particular User of twit twitter I i could be mistaken but it looks like

The tweet that you showed Actually did have a label pointing to Both of them Pointing to our covet resource Hub in our interface so we In regards to misleading information we Have policies Against uh manipulated media for Uh in support of public health and and Coveted information Um and uh and we and election Interference And um civic integrity and we take Action on it In some cases it’s labeling in some Cases it’s Removal what additional steps are you Planning to take to address Dangerously misleading tweets like the President’s Rounding the turn tweet Uh we we want to make sure that we are Giving people as much information as As possible um and that ultimately we’re Connecting the dots when they see Information like that that they have an Easy way To get you know an official resource or Many more viewpoints on what the what They’re seeing So we’ll continue to refine our policy We’ll continue to refine Our enforcement around misleading Information

And we’re looking deeply at how we can Evolve our product to do the same Mr zuckerberg i want to turn to you to Talk about the ongoing Issue of right-wing militias using Facebook as a Platform to organize and promote Violence could the committee clerk Please bring up my second slide Um on august 25th a self-described Militia group Called kenosha guard created a facebook Event page Entitled armed citizens to protect our Lives and property Encouraged encouraging armed individuals To go to kenosha and quote defend the City During a period of civil unrest Following the police shooting Of jacob blake that evening a 17-year-old from illinois did just that And ended up killing two protesters and Seriously injuring a third commenters In this group wrote that they wanted to Kill looters and rioters And switch to real bullets and put a Stop to these Rioting impetuous children While facebook has already had a policy In p In place banning militia groups this Play page remained in place according to Press reports

Facebook received more than 450 Complaints about this page But your content moderators did not Remove it Something you substantially subsequently Called An operational mistake recently As you heard earlier in questions the Alleged plot to kidnap Michigan governor gretchen whitmer And the potential for intimidation or Even violence at voting locations Show that the proliferation of the Threat of violence on facebook Remains a very real and urgent problem Mr zuckerberg in light of the Operational mistake Around kenosha what steps has facebook Taken To ensure that your platform is not Being used To promote more of this type of violence Thank you senator uh this is is a A big area of concern for me personally And for the company We’ve strengthened our policies uh to Prohibit any militarized social movement So any kind of militia like this Um we’ve also banned um conspiracy Networks so Q and on being the largest example of That that is is completely prohibited on Facebook at this point Um which you know in this period where

I’m i’m personally I’m worried about the potential of of Increased civil unrest Making sure that those groups can’t Organize on facebook Make cutoffs may cut off some legitimate Uses But i think that they will also preclude Greater potential for organizing any Harm and by making the policy simpler we Will also make it so that Uh there are fewer mistakes in content Moderation Uh so i i feel like we’re in a we’re a Much stronger place on the policies on This at this point Thank you senator baldwin senator lee Thank you very much mr chairman i i want To read A few quotes uh from from each of you Each of our three witnesses And from your companies and then i may Ask for a response So mr zuckerberg this one’s from you you Said quote We’ve built facebook to be a platform For all ideas Our community’s success depends on Everyone feeling comfortable Sharing what they want it doesn’t make Sense for our mission or for our Business to suppress Political content or prevent anyone from Seeing what matters most to them

You said that i believe on may 18 2016. Mr dorsey On september 5th 2018 he said let me Be clear about one important and Foundational fact Twitter does not use political ideology To make any decisions mr pakai on October 28th 2020 you said let me be Clear We approach our work without political Bias Full stop now these quotes make me think That there is a good case To be made that you’re you’re engaging In Unfair or deceptive trade practices in Violation of federal law I see these quotes where each of you uh Tell consumers and the public about your Business practices But then you seem to do the opposite and Take Censorship related actions against the President against Members of his administration against The new york post the babylon be the Federalists pro-life Groups and there are countless other Examples In fact i i think the trend is clear That You almost always censor meaning Uh and when i use the word censor here i I mean uh

I mean block content fact check uh or Label content or uh demonetized websites Of conservative republican or pro-life Individuals Or groups or companies contradicting Your commercial promises But i don’t see this suppression of High profile liberal commentators so for Example have You ever censored a democratic senator How about president obama how about a Democratic presidential candidate how About planned parenthood Or narrow or emily’s list so Mr zuckerberg mr dorsey and and mr Pickett Can can any of you and let’s go in that Order Uh zuckerberg dorsey and then picay can You name for me One high-profile person or entity From a liberal ideology who you have Censored and what particular action you Took Uh senator i i can Get you a a list of some more of this But there are certainly many examples That Your democratic colleagues um object to When when um you know checker might Label something as false that they Disagree with Or um they’re not able to i get that I get that i just want to be clear i’m

Just asking you if you can name For me uh one high profile liberal Person or company who you have sensitive I understand that You’re saying that there are complaints On both sides but i just i just want One name of one person or one entity Um senator i need to i need to think About it and And and get you more of a list but but There are Certainly many many issues on both sides Of the aisle where people think we are We are making content moderation Decisions that they disagree with I i got that and i think everybody on This call could uh agree that they could Identify At least um uh five maybe ten maybe more High profile conservative examples what About you mr dorsey Well we we can um give a more exhaustive List But again we don’t have an understanding Of political action Of our accounts but i’m not asking for An exhaustive list i’m asking for a Single example one Just one individual one entity any one We’ve we’ve taken action on tweets from Members of the house for election Mississippi Can you identify any example yes with Two

Two democratic um two two democratic uh Congress people On a lot of their names so i’ll get Those those names too Great great mr pakai how about you um Senator i’ll give specific examples but Uh let me step back we don’t sense Survey of uh moderation policies which We apply Uh equally to give you an example in our Ads I get that i use the word sensor as a Term of art there and i defined that Term And and i don’t or again i’m not asking For a comprehensive list i i want a name We have uh you know turned down ads from Priorities usa From vice president biden’s campaign we Have had Uh compliance issues with world Socialist uh review which is a Left-leaning publication we can give you Several examples but For example when we have a graphic Content policy we don’t allow for ads Which show graphic violent content in Those ads and we have taken down ads on Both sides of the campaign and i gave You a couple of examples Okay um At least with respect uh to uh mr Zuckerberg and mr dorsey and Andy and i would point out that with

Respect to mr pakai Those are not nearly as high profile i Don’t know if i can identify anyone Uh picked it random from the public even Picked it random from the public As far as members of the political Active community and either political Party who could identify those Right off the top of the bat look There is a disparity uh between the Censorship And again i’m using that as a term of Art as i’ve defined it a moment ago Between the censorship of conservative And liberal points Of view it’s an enormous disparity Now you have the right i want to be very Clear about this you have Every single right to set your own terms Of service and to interpret them And to make decisions about violations But given the disparate impact of who Gets censored on your platforms It seems that you’re either one not Enforcing your your Your terms of service equally or Alternatively Two that you’re writing your standards To target conservative viewpoints You certainly have the right to operate Your own platform but You also have to be transparent about Your actions At least in the sense that uh you

You can’t promise certain corporate Behavior And then deceive customers through Contradictory actions That just blatantly contradict what You’ve stated As your corporate business model or as Your policy So mr mr zuckerberg and mr dorsey if If facebook if facebook is still a Platform for all ideas and if twitter Quote does not use political ideology to Make Decisions then do you state before this Committee that For the record that you always apply Your terms of service equally To all of your users senator our Principle Is to stand for free expression and to Be a platform for all ideas Um i certainly don’t think we have Any um intentional examples where we’re Trying to Um enforce our policies in a way that is Anything other than Fair and consistent but it’s it’s also a Big company so i i get that there Are probably mistakes that are made from Time to time but Our north star and and what we intend to Do Um is to be a platform for all ideas and To give everyone a voice

Okay i i appreciate that i understand What you’re saying about intentional Examples Big company but again there is a Disparate impact there there is a Disparate impact that’s Unmistakable as evidenced by the fact That neither you nor jack could identify A Single example mr dorsey how do you Answer that question a brief answer Please mr dorsey Uh yes we we we operate our our Enforcement and our policy without an Understanding of political Ideology we don’t anytime we find or Uh uh examples of bias um In how people operate our systems or Our algorithms we remove it and um As as mark mentioned there are Checkpoints uh in these in these Companies in the In these frameworks and we do need more Transparency Around them and how they work and we do Need a much more straightforward and Quick and efficient appeals process to Give us a further checkpoint from the Public Thank you senator lee senator duckworth Thank you mr chairman um you know i’ve Devoted my life to Public service to upholding a sacred Oath to support and defend

The constitution of the united states Against all enemies foreign and domestic And i have to be honest it makes my Blood Boil and it also breaks my heart a Little as i watch my republican Colleagues Just days before an election sink down To the level of donald trump By placing the selfish interests of Donald trump ahead of the health of our Democracy Senate republicans whether they realize It or not are weakening our national Security And providing aid to our adversaries as My late friend congressman cummings Often reminded us You know we’re better than this look our Democracy Is under attack right now every american Every member of congress Should be committed to defending the Integrity of our elections from hostile Foreign interference despite all the Recent talk of great power competition Our adversaries know they still cannot Defeat us on a conventional battlefield Yet meanwhile the members of the united States military and our dedicated civil Servants are working around the clock In the cyber domain to counter hostile Actors such as iran China and russia and they do this while

The commander-in-chief Cowers in fear of russia and stubbornly Refuses to take any action to criticize Or warn russia Against endangering our troops i have Confidence in the United states armed forces intelligence Community and civil servants Their effective performance explains why Our foreign adversaries have sought Alternative avenues to attacking our Nation Afraid to face us in conventional Military or diplomatic ways they look For unconventional means to weaken our Democracy And they realize that social media could Be the exhaust port of our democracy Social media is so pervasive in the Daily lives of americans And traditional media outlets that it Can be weaponized To manipulate the public discourse and Stable destabilize our institutions You know after russia was incredibly Successful in disrupting our democracy Four years ago All of our adversaries learned a Chilling lesson Social media companies cannot be trusted To put patriotism Above profit facebook and twitter Utterly failed to hinder russia’s Sweeping and systemic interference in

Our 2016 election Which used the platforms to infiltrate Our communities Spread disinformation and turn americans Against one another Of course the situation has grown far Worse today As evidenced by today’s partisan sham Hearing while corporations may plead Ignorance prior to the 2016 election President trump and his republican Enablers in the senate have no Such excuse senate republicans cut a Deal to become the party of trump And now they find themselves playing a Very dangerous game By encouraging russia’s illegal hacking By serving as the spreaders and Promoters of disinformation cooked up by Foreign intelligence services and by Falsely claiming censorship When responsible actors attempt to Prevent hostile foreign adversaries From interfering in all elections senate Republicans insult the efforts of True patriots working to counter malign Interference and weaken our Security This committee is playing politics at a Time when responsible public officials Should be doing Everything to preserve confidence in our System Of elections and system of government

The reckless actions of donald trump and Senate republicans do not let technology Companies off the hook None of the companies testifying before Our committee today are helpless in the Face of threats to our democracy Small d democracy federal law provides You respective Companies federal laws provides your Respective companies With authority to counter foreign Disinformation and counterintelligence Propaganda And i want to be absolutely clear Gentlemen that i Fully expect each of you to do so each Of you will be attacked by the president Senate republicans and right-wing media For Countering hostile foreign interference In our election but you have The dude a duty to do the right thing Because facts still exist Facts still matter facts save Lives and there’s no both sides when one Side has chosen to reject Truth and embrace poisonous false Information So in closing i would like to each Witness to provide a personal commitment That your respective companies will Proactively counter Domestic disinformation that spreads the Dangerous lies such as

Mass don’t work while aggressively Identifying and removing This information that is part of foreign Adversary’s efforts To interfere in our election or Undermine our democracy Do i have that commitment from each of You gentlemen okay we’ll we’ll take Dorsey pakai and then zuckerberg mr Dorsey We have made that commitment mr bakay Uh senator absolutely yes And mr zuckerberg yes senator I i agree with that thank you your Industry’s success or failure in Achieving this goal will have Far-reaching Life or death consequences for the American people and the future of our Democracy Thank you and i yield back mr chairman The senator yields back senator johnson I might start i’d like to start with a Question for All three of the witnesses uh you know You have public reports that you have a Different chat forums In all of your in companies and also Public reports where You know the few conservatives that Might work for your companies Have certainly been harassed on those on Those types of forums Uh i don’t expect you to have taken poll

Of your employees but i just want to get A Kind of a sense because i think it’s Pretty obvious but Would would you say that the political Ideology of the employees in your Company is you know let’s say 50 50 Conservative versus uh Uh liberal progressive or do you think It’s closer to 90 percent liberal 10 conservative we’ll start with mr Dorsey Um as you mentioned i don’t know the the Makeup of our employees because it’s not Something we ask or focus on i mean Just just what do you think off top your Head based on your chat rooms and Kind of people you talk to not not Something i look for Or right okay mr pachai Senator we have over 100 thousand Employees for the past two years we have Hired greater than fifty percent of our Workforce outside california Uh it does tend to be proportionate to The areas where we are in Uh but uh we do have we have a million Message boats at google We have groups like republicans at Liberals at conservatives And and and so on and we have definitely Made a effort to make sure people of all Viewpoints are welcome So again mr zuckerberg will you answer

The question honestly is that 90 pennies Or 50 50 which is a closer to Uh senator i don’t know the the exact Number but i would guess that our Employee base Um skews left-leaning Thank you for that honesty uh mr mr Dorsey you started your opening comments That uh You know you think that people don’t Trust you i agree with that we don’t Trust you Um uh you all say you’re fair and you’re Consistent uh You’re neutral uh you’re unbiased mr Dorsey i think the Most incredible answer i’ve seen so far In this hearing is When senator cruz asked does twitter Have the ability to influence elections Again does twitter have the ability to Influence The elections you said no did you stick With that answer that you don’t even Believe And let’s let’s face it you all believe That russia has the ability to influence The elections or interfere by using your Social platforms Mr doris if you still deny that you Don’t have the ability To influence and interfere in our Elections Uh i yeah i mean i my answer was around

Uh people’s choice around other Communication channels no you your Your answer was does you know you the Question was does twitter have the Ability to influence the elections And you said no do you do you still Stand by that that That answer twitter is a company no no No you don’t think you have the ability By by moderation policies By senator lee and i would call it Censoring You know what you do with new york post You don’t think that Censorship that moderation of policies You don’t think that influences the Elections by withholding What i believe is true information from American public you don’t think that Interferes In elections not our current moderation Policies our current moderation policies Are to protect the conversation And the integrity of the conversation Around the elections okay for both Mr zuckerberg and darcy who who censored Censored new york post stories Or throttled them back do either one of You have any evidence That the new york post story is part of Russian disinformation Or that those emails aren’t authentic do Any of you have any any information Whatsoever they’re not authentic or that

They are russian disinformation Mr darcy we we don’t you know So so why would why would you censor it Why did you prevent that from Being disseminated on your platform that Is supposed to be For the free expression of ideas and Particularly true ideas We believe to fill a foul of our hacking Materials policy Uh we judged him but whatever they was Hacked they weren’t hacked We we judged in a moment that it looked Like it was hacked materials You were wrong surfacing and and we Updated our policy and our enforcement Within 24 hours Mr zuckerman zuckerberg Uh senator as i testified before we Relied heavily on The fbi’s uh intelligence and alerts to Us both through their public testimony And Uh private briefings they gave us did The fbi Contact you and say the new york post Story was false Senator not about that story Specifically Why did you throttle it back they Alerted us Of a to be on heightened alert around a Risk of hacking leak operations Around a release of information

To be clear on this we didn’t censor the Content We flagged it for fact checkers to Review and Pending that review we temporarily Constrained its distribution To make sure that it didn’t uh spread Wildly While um it was being reviewed but It’s not up to us either to determine Whether it’s uh russian interference Nor whether it’s true we rely on an Intelligent Factor mr dorsey uh you talked about Your policies toward misinformation And that you will you will block this Information if it if it’s About against civic integrity election Interference Or voter suppression let me give you a Tweet that was put up on On twitter it says senator ron johnson Is my neighbor And strangled our dog buttons right in Front of my four-year-old son And three-year-old daughter the police Refused to investigate This is a complete lie but important to Retweet and note that there are more of My lies to come Now we contacted twitter And we asked him to take it down and Here’s the response Thanks for reaching out we escalated

This to our support team for the review And they have determined that this is Not a violation of all policies So mr dorsey how could a complete lie It’s it’s it’s admitted it’s a lie how Does that not affect Civic integrity how could you view that Not as being Election that could definitely impact my Ability to get reelected How could that not be a violation of Voter suppression Obviously if people think i’m strangling My neighbor’s dog They may not show up at the polls that Would be voter suppression so Why didn’t twitter take that by the way That tweet Was was retweeted like suddenly 17 000 Times and viewed by over and loved Commented you know appreciated by over 50 000 people How is that not voter suppression how’s That now the election interference How does that that that affect the civic Integrity We’ll we’ll have to look uh into our Enforcement Or non-enforcement in this case of the Tweet and we can get back to you with More context So mr mr zuckerberg in that same june Hearing Real quick mr dorsey can you refer to

That june hearing with uh Stefan wolfgram had all kinds of good Ideas that’s 16 months ago Why haven’t you inter why haven’t you Implemented any of those Transparency ideas you thought were Pretty good 16 months ago Well he was talking about algorithmic Choice and we have implemented one of Them which is we allow people to turn Off the ranking of our timeline Uh the rest is is work and it’s going to Take some time Well i’d get to it if i were you thank You mr chairman senator johnson thank You Let me let me just make sure i Understood The answer mr um Dorsey and mr zuckerberg mr dorsey did i Understand you to say that you have No information indicating that the new York post Story about hunter biden is uh Is a has a russian source did i Understand correctly Yes not that i’m aware of and and is is That also your answer mr zuckerberg that You have no information at all To indicate that that russia was the Source of this Um the new york post article Senator i would rely on the fbi to make That

Assessment but you you don’t have any Such information do you I do not myself i’m just trying to Clarify the answer to senator johnson’s Question Thank you very much for indulging me There senator tester you are next sir I want to thank you mr chairman and i Want to thank sundar And jack and mark for being in front of This committee Uh there is no doubt that there’s some Major issues with google and facebook And twitter that congress needs to Address Quite frankly big tech is the Unregulated wild west that needs to be Held accountable And we do need to hear from all three of You about a range of critical issues That americans deserve answers on like Data privacy And i trust uh the proliferation of Misinformation on your platforms In a moment i’m going to ask all of you To commit to returning to this committee Early next year To have a hearing on these important Issues but the truth is My republican colleagues arranged this Hearing less than a week from election Day For one specific reason to make a Last-ditch case

Based on shoddy evidence that these Companies are censoring conservative Voices It is a stunt and it’s a cheap at that It is crystal clear that this hearing is Designed to cast doubt On the fairness of the upcoming election And to work with the platforms To allow bad information to stay up as November 3rd approaches It is also crystal clear that the Directive to hold this Political hearing comes straight from The white house And it is a sad day when the united States senate An equal part of an independent branch Of government Allows the senate’s halls to be used for The president’s political stunts there Is a national election in six days mr Chairman You had nearly two years to hold this Hearing And it’s happening six days before the Election The idea that we should have a sober Hearing about putting the reins on big Tech Six days before the election quite Frankly doesn’t pass the spell test Today this hearing is about electoral Politics I know it you know it everybody in this

Room knows it And i know the american people are smart Enough to figure that out I’m going to talk a little more about That in a second but First i want to thank the panel once Again for being here And when i start by asking a question About making a more sincere effort To discuss the issues that surround big Tech down the road So the question for the panel and this Is a yes or no answer Will you commit to returning to testify Again In the new congress start with you jack Yes we’re we’re always happy to um uh Myself or or one of our teammates is Always happy to To talk to you american people uh soon There Uh senator yes we have engaged uh many Times and we are happy to continue that Engagement Congress how about you mark Uh senator yes i i hope we can continue To have this conversation Um and hopefully not just with the ceos Of the companies but Also with experts who work on these Issues Every day as is part of their their jobs Absolutely i think the more information The better but not based on politics

Based on reality And i want to thank you for that because We are in a very unreal time When it comes to politics quite frankly We are at a time when Fake news is real and real news is fake And you guys try to shut down the fake News whether it comes From joe biden’s mouth or whether it Comes from donald trump’s mouth And the fact is if joe biden said some Of the crazy and offensive stuff That the president has said you would Get he would get fact-checked in the Same way Wouldn’t you agree you could nod your Head to that Wouldn’t you agree if joe biden said the Same stuff that That that that trump said that you would Do the same sort of Of uh of uh fact checking on him shall We take uh mr dorsey mr pakai and mr Zuckerberg in that order if we if we Found Violations of our policy um we would we Would Do the appropriate um uh enforcement Action Thank you Just go ahead then mr pakkai uh Uh senator yeah we would apply our Policies without regard to who it is From when we apply it uh neutrally

Okay thank you mark Senator i agree with what uh Jack and cindar said we would also apply Our policies To everyone and in fact Um when joe biden Tweets or or posts and cross posts to Facebook about The election we put The same label adding context about Voting on his posts as we do for other Candidates Thank you for that uh in 2016 russians Build a network of bots and fake Accounts that need to spread this Information This year it seems they’re seeding your Networks with disinformation and relying On americans Including some folks in congress to Amplify and distribute it What tools do you have to fight foreign Disinformation on your platforms When it’s spread by americans Jack Um we’re looking at uh you know our Policies are against platform Manipulation Period no matter where it comes from so Whether that’s foreign or domestic Um we see patterns of uh people Are or organizations that attempt to Manipulate the platform of the Conversation

Artificially amplify information Mark senator the efforts are a Combination of Ai systems that look for anomalous Behavior by accounts or networks of Accounts Um a large human effort where we have 35 000 employees who work on security and Content review And partnerships that we’ve made with The other uh tech companies here Um as well as law enforcement and Intelligence community and election Officials across the world Uh to make sure that we have all the Appropriate input signals and can share Signals and what we’re seeing with the Other platforms as well Uh two things to add senator uh to give Different examples Uh we partner with over uh five thousand Civic entities Campaign organizations at the federal And the state level to protect their Campaigns digital assets with our Advanced production program and training And others there’s been an enormous Increase in cooperation between the tech Companies Uh you know as companies we are sharing A lot of information And and doing more together than ever Before thank you I just want to close with one thing

We’ve heard a lot of information out Here today Where when you hire somebody you’re Supposed to ask them their political Affiliation You’re supposed to ask them who they’ve Donated to they’re supposed to be a Political litmus test If you hire a biden person you’re Supposed to hire a trump person Why not hire a tester person huh and And it’s about let’s talk about business We want to regulate business And if that business is run by a liberal We’re going to regulate them different Than if they run by a conservative Outfit that reminds me a lot of the Supreme court where you have two sets of Rules One for a democratic president one for a Republican this Is baloney folks get off the political Garbage and let’s have the commerce Hearing do its job Thank you very much thank you senator Tester senator scott All right thank you chairman for hosting This i think first off if you followed All this today which you’ll clearly come To the conclusion is republicans believe That you censor And democrats i think it’s pretty good What you’re doing We’re blessed to live in the united

States a democracy where we Ran individual freedoms and liberties Under the constitution This isn’t the case around the world uh We can look at what’s happening in Communist china right now General secretary she has committed Horrible human rights abuses Against chinese minority communities and Centuries anyone That speaks out about their oppression The chinese communist party surveils Their citizens And uses state-run media to push their Propaganda Control information their citizens Consume and hide their human rights Abuses Twitter and facebook are banned in Communist china So you can understand why it’s Concerning or even discussing this Issue that big technology companies are Interfering with free speech The american people entrust your Companies with their information They believe that you will protect their Information and allow them to use your Platforms To express themselves freely i don’t Think any Any per any one person has signed up for Any of your platforms And expects to be blocked or kicked off

Because of their political views But it’s becoming obvious that you’re That your companies are Unfairly targeting conservatives that’s Clearly the perception today Facebook is actively targeting ads by Conservative groups ahead of the Election Either removing the ads completely or Adding their own disclosure if they Claim it didn’t pass their Fact check system but their fact check Is based on reports from known liberal Media groups Like politifact which clearly is a Liberal media group Twitter censored senator mitch mcconnell And put warnings on several of the President’s tweets And until recently they completely Blocked the american people from sharing The new york post story about hunter Biden’s laptop And suspended the new york post account A new york post is one of the most Circulated publications In the united states this isn’t some French media outlet filled with Conspiracy theories Yet you allow murderous dictators around The world To freely use your platform let me give You a few examples On twitter iran’s supreme leader

Ayatollah tweeted Calling for the elimination of the Zionist regime He said on may 21 2020 the elimination Of the zionist regime Does not mean the massacre of the jewish People the people of palestine should Hold a referendum Any political system that they vote for Should govern in all of palestine The only revenue until the removal of The zionist regime is firm Armed resistance i’d like to know first Why twitter let that say up And why the other eye tool has not been Blocked in may 2019 maduro A murderous dictator tweeted a photo of Him backed by his military for a march After three people were killed and 130 Injured during protests In his country the tweet describes the March as a clear Demonstration of the moral strength and Integrity of our glorious armed forces Which is always prepared to defend peace And sovereignty I would say this glorifies violence Which twitter has flagged president Trump for So twitter let that stand general Secretary xi’s communist regime pushed By by the fact it’s committing a Genocide against the uyghurs Forcing millions in internment camps

Because of their religion On september 1 a chinese government Account posted on twitter Camps more fake news what the chinese Government has done in Xinjiang has created the possibility for The locals to lead better lives But truth is simply the truth that Simply goes against the anti-china Narrative Will not report by some biased media Clear line It has been widely reported that this Claim by the chinese government Is false but twitter took no action Your companies are inconsistently Applying their own rules with an Obvious bias your companies are Censoring free speech You target the president the white house Press secretary Senator mitch mcconnell the susan b Anthony list of pro-life group While giving dictators a free unfettered Platform It is our responsibility to hold your Companies accountable and protect Americans ability to speak to speak Freely on their platforms Regardless of their political views or The information they choose to share You should can’t just pick and choose Which viewpoints are allowed on your Platform

Expect to keep the immunity planned by Section 230. So mr dorsey you allow dangerous Dictators on your platform Tell me why you flag conservatives in America like President trump or leader mcdonnell but Potential for potential misinformation While allowing dictators to spew their Propaganda on your platform We we have taken actions around leaders Around the world And certainly uh with some dictators as Well um We look at we look at the tweets we Review them And we figure out if they say violate Our policy or not Um can you tell me one you did against Iran The entire could you can you tell can You tell me about one you’ve ever done Against Against ayatollah or maduro i think We’ve done more than one actually but we Can send you that information On those actions um but we you know we Want to make sure that Um we do have a global leader policy Um that we believe it’s important people Can see what these leaders are saying And Those tweets remain up but they are Labeled that they violated our terms of

Service Just to show the integrity of our policy And our enforcement When when the commerce china which we All know Is put a million people wiggers in camps You did nothing about the tweet would They say that they’re just Helping them lead a better life i mean We i mean you can you can Just fall anybody that follows the news Knows what’s happening to the weakers I mean it’s genocide what they’re doing To the weakers And i’ve never i’ve i’ve never seen Anything you’ve done on call now a lie We don’t have a general policy around Misleading information and Misinformation We don’t we rely upon people calling That speech out Calling those reports out in those ideas Um And that’s part of the conversation is If if there is something Found to be um in in and contest Then people reply to it people retweet It and say that this is wrong This is obviously wrong you you would be Able to quote tweet that Uh today and say this is absolutely Wrong and we we benefit from one of Those voices calling that out So but you but you block mitch mcconnell

And trump’s tweets and you just say Right i mean is that i mean here’s what I don’t get Is it you guys have set up policies that You don’t Enforce consistently and then then What’s the recourse to a user i talked To a lady this week that She just got her her facebook account Just eliminated There’s no recourse there’s nothing she Can do about it so Every one of you have these policies That you don’t enforce consistently so What’s What should be the recourse we do Enforce them Uh consistently and as i said in my open Remarks we believe It’s critical that we have more Transparency around our process we have Clear and straightforward and efficient Appeals Uh so the woman that you talked to could Actually appeal uh the decision that we That we made and that we focus on Algorithms and figuring out how to give People more choices Thank you senator scott senator rosen Thank you mr chairman i appreciate The witnesses for being here today and I want to focus a little bit thank you Mr dorsey on algorithms because My colleagues and the majority of the

Called this hearing in order to argue That you’re doing Too much to stop the spread of Disinformation conspiracy theories and Hate speech on your platforms I’m here to tell you that you are not Doing enough Your platform’s recommendation Algorithms well they drive people who Show an Interest in conspiracy theory theories Far Deeper into hate and only you have the Ability to change This what i really want to say is that On these platforms and what i’d like to Tell my colleagues the important factor To realize Is that people or users are the Initiators of this content And the algorithms are the potentiators If particularly the recommendation Algorithms The potentiators of this content now i Was doing a little cleaning in my garage Like a lot of people during covent i’m a Former computer programmer I actually found my old hexadecimal Calculator And radio shack my little owner’s manual Here Not so i know a little bit about the Power of algorithms and what they can And can’t do

Having done that myself and i know that You have the ability to remove bigoted Hateful and incendiary content that will Lead And has led to violence so i want to be Clear It’s really not about what you can or Cannot do It’s really about what you will or will Not do So we have adversaries like russia they Continue to amplify propaganda Everything from the election to Coronavirus we know what they’re doing Anti-semitic conspiracy theories They do it on your platforms weaponizing Division And hate to destroy our democracy and Our communities The u.s intelligence community warned us Earlier this year that Russia is now actively inciting white Supremacist violence Which the fbi and the department of Homeland security Say poses the most lethal threat To america in recent years we’ve seen White supremacy and anti-semitism on the Rise much of it spreading online And what enables these bad actors to Disseminate Disseminate their hateful messaging to The american public Are the algorithms on your platforms

Effectively rewarding efforts by foreign Powers to exploit divisions in our Country To be sure i want to acknowledge the Work you’re already doing Uh in this space i’m relieved to see That facebook has really taken that long Overdue action and banning holocaust Denial content But while you’ve made some policy Changes what we Have seen time and time again is what Starts online Doesn’t end online hateful words morph Into deadly actions which are then Amplified again and again it’s a vicious Just yesterday we commemorated the two Year anniversary of the tree of life Shooting In pittsburgh the deadliest targeted Attack in the jewish community in American history The shooter had a long uh the shooter in This case had a long history of posting Anti-semitic content on social media Sites And what started online became very real For the families who will now Never again see their loved ones so There has to be accountability When algorithms actively contribute to Radicalization And hate so mr zuckerberg and mr dorsey When you implement a policy banning hate

Or disinformation content How quickly can you adjust your Algorithms to reduce this content And perhaps what i want to ask even more Importantly To reduce or remove the recommendation Algorithm Of hate and disinformation perhaps it Doesn’t continue to spread We know those recommendation algorithms Continue to drive someone more Specifically and specifically and Specifically Great when you want to buy a new sweater It’s going to be cold out here it’s Winter Not so great when you’re driving them Towards hate can you talk to us about That please Mr dorsey you can go first please I i you know i as you know um Algorithms these algorithms machine Learning and deep learning Um are complex they’re complicated Um and they require testing and training So as we learn uh about how about their Effectiveness Uh we can shift them and we can iterate Them but does it it does require Experience and does require a little bit Of time so you know the most important Thing That we need to build into the Organization is you know

Fast learning mindset and that agility Around updating these these algorithms Um so We we do try to focus uh The urgency of our updates on uh any Severity of harm As you mentioned uh specifically Anything that leads to offline Harm or dangerous speech that that goes Into often And well mr zuckerberg i’ll ask you to Answer that then i have some more Questions about how I guess the nimbleness uh of your Algorithms go ahead Senator i think you’re focused on Exactly the right thing in terms of how Many people See the harmful content and as we we Talk about Putting in place regulation um Or reforming section 230 in terms of What we want to hold companies Accountable for um I think that what we should be judging The companies on is How many people uh see harmful content Before the companies act on it And i think being able to act on it Quickly and being able to Act on content that is potentially going Viral or going to be seen by more people Uh before it does see a lot of people That gets seen by a lot of people is

Is is critical um this is what we report In our in our quarterly transparency Reports Or what what percent of the content that A person sees Um is is harmful in any of the Categories of harm that we track Um and we try to hold ourselves Accountable um For basically driving the prevalence of That harmful content down And i think good content regulation here Um Would create a standard like that across The whole industry So i i like what you said your Recommendation algorithms need to learn To Drive the prevalence of this Harmful content down so i have some Other questions i’m going to ask those But I would like to see some of the Information about how nimble you are On dropping down that prevalence when You do see Trending when you do see an uptick Whether it’s by bots By human beings uh whatever that is we Need to drive that prevalence down And so um can you talk a little bit Maybe more specifically then um on Things you might be doing for Anti-semitism we know that that is white

Supremacy the biggest domestic On the homeland security committee uh They have testified to this the largest Threat of course in our Uh uh to our nation and i want to be Sure that to this Violence is not celebrated and amplified On your platforms we’ll have to have A brief answer to that Senator to whom are you addressing the Question Mr zuckerberg well i only have i think I’m the last one but we only have uh Just a few seconds we can ask that Sure senator thank you i mean this is There’s a there’s a lot of nuance here But in general for each category of Harmful content whether it’s terrorist Propaganda or Incitement of violence and hate speech We have to build specific systems and Specific ai systems And one of the benefits of i think Having transparency and transparency Reports into how these companies are Doing Is that we have to report on a quarterly Basis Um how effectively we’re we’re we’re Doing Um at finding those types of content so You can hold us accountable for how Nimble we are Um hate speech is one of the hardest

Things to train an ai system To get good at identifying because it is Linguistically nuanced we operate in 150 Languages around the world But what our transparency reports show Is that over the last few years we’ve Gone from Proactively identifying and taking down About 20 percent of the hate speech On the service um to now we are Proactively identifying Uh i think it’s about 94 of the hate Speech that we end up taking down Um in the vast majority of that before People even have to report it to us so Uh but by having this kind of a Transparency requirement Which is part of what i’m advocating for In the section 230 reform Um i think we’ll be able to have a Broader sense across the industry of how All of the companies are improving um in Each of these areas Thank you for that answer thank you look Uh Look forward to working with uh everyone On this thank you mr chairman As do i senator rosen thank you very Much When uh when this hearing convened Um i estimated that it would Uh last three hours and 42 minutes Um it’s now been three hours and 41 Minutes

Four of our members have been unable to Join us And that’s the only reason my Prediction was the least bit accurate Um so uh thank you all thank you very Much and and I thank our witnesses during my first Series during my first question To the panelists I referred to a document that i had Entered into the record during Our committee meeting i believe on October the first entitled social media Companies censoring prominent Conservative voices That that document has been updated and Without Objection uh it will be added to The record at this point And um i i believe we are now Um at the point of closing the um The hearing the hearing record will Remain open for two weeks During this time senators are asked to Submit any questions for the record Upon receipt the witnesses are requested To submit their written answers to the Committee As soon as possible but by no later than Wednesday november 25th 2020. I want to thank our witnesses uh for Their cooperation And for bearing with us during a very Lengthy

Hearing and i want to thank each member Of the committee for their cooperation In um in the conduct of this hearing and With that the hearing is concluded And um and uh the witnesses are thanked This hearing is now Adjourned A stranger Bit Thank you You

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