Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are set to testify before Congress. Again. The hearing will be focused on evidence-free allegations that their platforms routinely censor right-wing voices. Again. But this time, the hearing will take place only a few weeks after election night, and it will focus on how the platforms handled their most consequential test since 2016.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's Tuesday hearing, titled "Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election," will be the third time the tech executives address Congress this year, and it's certain to be rife with political theater.
But it will be important to hear how Dorsey and Zuckerberg, the heads of two of the world's most powerful social networks, reflect on their handling of the 2020 election, especially after their mistakes and negligence in 2016 set off so-called "techlash" in Washington. And those reflections will double as a defense as Republicans and Democrats question their decisions over the last several weeks.
Both Dorsey and Zuckerberg will also offer their fullest comments yet about how they'd like to see Section 230 reformed.
Here are the most important sections of Zuckerberg and Dorsey's prepared remarks.
"We partnered with election officials to remove false claims about polling conditions and displayed warnings on more than 150 million pieces of content after review by our independent third-party fact-checkers."
"We strengthened our enforcement against militias, conspiracy networks, and other groups to help prevent them from using our platform to organize violence or civil unrest in the period after the election. We have already removed thousands of these groups from our platform, and we will continue our enforcement during this transitional period."
"Earlier this year, we announced a partnership with a team of independent external academics to conduct objective and empirically grounded research on social media's impact on democracy … We hope that the insights these researchers develop will help advance society's understanding of the intersection of technology and democracy and help Facebook learn how we can better play our part."
"Updating Section 230 is a significant decision, but we support the ideas around transparency and industry collaboration that are being discussed in some of the current bipartisan proposals, and I look forward to a meaningful dialogue about how we might update the law to deal with the problems we face today."
"Knowing that overly burdensome government regulatory schemes are not always nimble nor quick and can have unintended consequences, encourage Congress to work with industry and civil society to build upon Section 230's foundation, whether it be through additions to Section 230, industry-wide self-regulation best practices, or a new legislative framework."
"Approximately 300,000 Tweets have been labeled under our Civic Integrity Policy for content that was disputed and potentially misleading … Approximately 74% of the people who viewed those Tweets saw them after we applied a label or warning message. We saw an estimated 29% decrease in Quote Tweets of these labeled Tweets due in part to a prompt that warned people prior to sharing."
"We … recognize that we can do even more to improve to provide greater algorithmic transparency and fair machine learning. The machine learning teams at Twitter are studying these techniques and developing a roadmap to ensure our present and algorithmic models uphold a high standard when it comes to transparency and fairness."
"We want to be very clear that we do not see our job in this space as done."