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Facebook, Twitter CEOs face Senate subpoenas over N.Y. Post story

Published on October 25, 2020 10:59 PM
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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to authorize subpoenas for Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey to compel testimony over their companies? suppression of a New York Post article about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden?s son.

Republicans are ratcheting up pressure on Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and other social media companies over their perceived conservative bias ahead of the presidential election Nov. 3.

The executives, who have been called to Washington before to explain their content policies, are also due to appear before the Senate Commerce Committee on Oct. 28, along with Alphabet Inc. chief executive officer Sundar Pichai, to discuss their protection from legal liability for user content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Conservatives say the law enables the companies to silence their views and content.

The executives can still appear voluntarily, but the committee has said it will compel testimony if they don?t. A hearing date hasn?t been announced. Representatives for Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.

The vote to authorize subpoenas came as Democrats boycotted the panel?s meeting, when it moved forward Amy Coney Barrett?s nomination to sit on the Supreme Court.

GOP senators sought to bring in the CEOs after their companies moved to curb the spread of a controversial Post story on Biden?s son Hunter and his alleged exchanges with a Ukrainian executive. The story said emails purportedly from Hunter Biden, and provided by allies of the president, show he introduced an executive at a Ukrainian energy firm to his father when he was vice president.

The paper claimed the communication contradicts Joe Biden?s assertion that he hadn?t spoken to his son about his business dealings. The emails didn?t say definitively whether Biden actually met the executive and his campaign denies that he took a meeting. The details of the Post story haven?t been independently confirmed by Bloomberg.

The companies took measures to reduce distribution of the link, citing policies that prohibit the posting of ...

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