facebook linkedin twitter

Senate Committee Seeks Subpoena Against Facebook and Twitter Leaders

October 22, 2020 by Tom Ramstack
Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addresses students at Georgetown University. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — A Senate committee voted to subpoena the chief executives of Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. Thursday over what its chairman called censorship of information potentially embarrassing to presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The social media giants limited the sharing of New York Post articles that said Biden’s son used his family influence to assist his business associates at a Ukrainian company.

The newspaper articles were reportedly based on emails taken from a computer allegedly belonging to Biden’s son, Hunter. The first article said Hunter tried to introduce an executive at the Ukrainian company that employed him to his father, who was then vice president.

Democratic frontrunner Biden has called the New York Post stories a “smear.” He denies their accuracy.

Facebook and Twitter officials initially said sharing links to the articles appeared to violate their privacy policy on hacked information. Their policies ban posting of private or stolen information like email addresses and phone numbers without the owners’ permission.

After internal investigations and media reports of their limits on the information, Facebook and Twitter officials lifted the restrictions.

However, some Republicans said Facebook and Twitter gave inadequate explanations. 

They also questioned whether the companies were trying to protect Biden’s presidential campaign from potentially embarrassing disclosures.

Normally congressional committees obtain information by asking witnesses to appear at hearings to testify voluntarily. A subpoena indicates the senators were trying to compel the testimony of chief executives Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.

The vote was unanimous among the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 12 Republicans. Democrats boycotted the business meeting to protest the nomination to the Supreme Court of Amy Coney Barrett.

The subpoena would “hopefully give us some leverage to secure their testimony,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It also continues recent concern mentioned in several congressional hearings that Facebook, Twitter and Google are getting too big and powerful with the way they control content on their Internet platforms.

The chief executives of all three companies are scheduled to testify next week before the Senate Commerce Committee on their policies for posting and controlling content. Occasionally they have been accused of bias against conservatives.

Some members of Congress suggest modifying Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects social media companies from liability for user content.

The Senate Judiciary Committee motion for a subpoena against Facebook and Twitter seeks information about “any other content moderation policies, practices, or actions that may interfere with or influence elections for federal office.”

Social Media

October 14, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Cybersecurity Experts Point to More Investment Needed in Detection, Response

WASHINGTON -- If everyone were to employ proper cyber hygiene like multi-factor authentication or not clicking on links in phishing... Read More

WASHINGTON -- If everyone were to employ proper cyber hygiene like multi-factor authentication or not clicking on links in phishing emails, more than 85% of cyberattacks would be prevented, said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, Thursday.  “The best hack is the one that doesn’t happen,” King said... Read More

October 13, 2021
by Victoria Turner
BIPOC Entrepreneurs Work to Combat Inequities

Social entrepreneurship uses technology to bridge the gap between “cash-strapped” municipalities and local governments, said Gabriella Wong, CEO and founder... Read More

Social entrepreneurship uses technology to bridge the gap between “cash-strapped” municipalities and local governments, said Gabriella Wong, CEO and founder of AccesSOS, Tuesday.  Wong’s comment came during the Camelback Venture’s Guardian Summit panel discussion where she was joined by two other socially-driven app founders and executives... Read More

October 12, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Family of Slain Journalist Claims Facebook Exploited Tragedy for Profit

WASHINGTON -- Imagine knowing your daughter’s moment of death has been immortalized in a video online. Now imagine that it... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Imagine knowing your daughter’s moment of death has been immortalized in a video online. Now imagine that it keeps popping up over and over again on Facebook, Instagram, and Google’s YouTube for six years and counting, despite your family's repeated requests for its removal. ... Read More

October 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Whistleblower Accuses Facebook of Deceiving Public for Profit

WASHINGTON -- A former Facebook product manager told a Senate panel Tuesday that the social media giant had the potential... Read More

WASHINGTON -- A former Facebook product manager told a Senate panel Tuesday that the social media giant had the potential for great good but instead was focused only on its own profits. “The choices being made inside of Facebook are disastrous,” said Frances Haugen. She put... Read More

Ex-Facebook Manager Alleges Social Network Fed Capitol Riot

NEW YORK (AP) — A data scientist who was revealed Sunday as the Facebook whistleblower says that whenever there was... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — A data scientist who was revealed Sunday as the Facebook whistleblower says that whenever there was a conflict between the public good and what benefited the company, the social media giant would choose its own interests. Frances Haugen was identified in a... Read More

September 29, 2021
by Dan McCue
YouTube Expands Effort to Fight Misinformation in Vaccine Videos

YouTube revamped its medical misinformation policies on Wednesday, advancing a new set of guidelines on vaccines that have already been... Read More

YouTube revamped its medical misinformation policies on Wednesday, advancing a new set of guidelines on vaccines that have already been approved and confirmed safe and effective by health authorities, including the World Health Organization. In a blog post on its website attributed to “The YouTube Team,”... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top