Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz, one of the most outspoken tech critics in the Senate, declined to use his seven minutes to question the tech CEOs, calling the hearing a "scar on this committee and the U.S. Senate" and an "embarrassment."
"What we are seeing today is an attempt to bully the CEOs of private companies into carrying out a hit job on a presidential candidate by making sure they push out foreign and domestic misinformation meant to influence the election," Schatz said.
"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," Schatz said. "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."
Instead, Schatz used his time to describe how the issue of Section 230 has become politicized by Republicans.
Emily Birnbaum (
@birnbaum_e) is a tech policy reporter with Protocol. Her coverage focuses on the U.S. government's attempts to regulate one of the most powerful industries in the world, with a focus on antitrust, privacy and politics. Previously, she worked as a tech policy reporter with The Hill after spending several months as a breaking news reporter. She is a Bethesda, Maryland native and proud Kenyon College alumna.