“Who the hell chose you?”. With that missile, Republican Senator Ted Cruz closed his presentation during the Facebook, Google and Twitter hearing in the United States Congress. And the recipient was Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO of the social network microblogging.
The context of the question was an exhibition where Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg, CEOs of Twitter, Google and Facebook, defended this Wednesday before Congress the law that protects them from liability for content posted by third parties: Section 203 of the Communications Decency Act of the United States.
However, although all three were on the bench, the conservative congressman was extremely harsh on Twitter: “The three witnesses we have before the committee today collectively represent the greatest threat to freedom of expression in the United States and the greatest threat we have to free and fair elections”, He commented. To then finish off: “Of the three players before us, Twitter’s behavior has been by far the most atrocious.”
Ted Cruz, senator from Texas, harshly questioned Twitter. AP Photo
To understand Cruz’s claim: Dorsey was faced with a decision by Twitter this year to block a publication of the North American newspaper New York Post in which Joe Biden, current Democratic candidate to compete for the presidency of the United States on November 3 against Donald Trump, was accused of corruption.
Ted Cruz insisted very harshly that the attitude of Twitter is a “Danger to freedom of expression”.
Dorsey, of course, responded: “We realize that it takes more responsibility for our intentions and showing the results, I listen to the concerns”, He managed to answer before an angry Cruz.
“Eroding the foundations of Section 230 could collapse the way we communicate on the internet, leaving only a small number of tgiant and well-financed technology“, argued during his presentation Dorsey.
The senator from Texas went viral, of course, on Twitter.
What is section 230 that was discussed this Wednesday
Jack Dorsey, at the center of the controversy this Wednesday. Photo EFE
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is a federal regulation in the United States, this is true for the entire territory.
It was created in 1996 and regulates and protects internet companies from legal liability: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or issuer of any information from another informational content provider”Says the law.
This gives Big Tech two advantages: First, it exempts them from what users post on their platforms. For example, yes anti-Semitic or racist content is posted, the law states that the company is not responsible for that content.
Mark Zuckerberg was also in the hearing. Photo EFE
But it also gives them the freedom to unsubscribe content: this is what is being demanded of them. A greater intervention in what is climbed, so that anarchy does not reign.
The discussion of reforming this norm, anyway, It is intuitive to believe on which side companies defend themselves from this: how freedom of expression can be affected.
Meanwhile, on November 3, the United States elects or re-elects president.
Social networks, once again, in the center of the scene for their great relevance and gravitation on public debate. And even the results.