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The leaders of tech’s biggest companies are becoming well acquainted with congressional hearings — hearings that are consistently devolving into theatrics as lawmakers politicize regulation of the industry.

Republicans typically use their time during the hearings to demand to know why tech platforms “censor” posts from President Donald Trump, intentionally silence voices on the right, and stifle free speech. These talking points have proven to be effective messaging for senators seeking election, as well as for expanding the Republican Party’s reach online. Some senators have also questioned the political leanings of their employees and how that could influence their moderation decisions.

Democratic lawmakers have, in turn, used their time to scold their Republican colleagues for spouting such “baseless” claims and for bullying the left, as Sen. Mazie Hirono did during Tuesday’s hearing. If anything, Hirono and others have said tech firms do not do enough to crack down on the “lies” that Trump spreads online. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said there are “more important” things to address than the alleged censorship. And Sen. Brian Schatz used his entire allotted time during an October hearing to accuse Republicans of politicizing Section 230 protections.

Twitter and Facebook have been fielding accusations …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Technology


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