WASHINGTON — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will concede to lawmakers that his company has more work to do in combating disinformation and voter suppression, according to his prepared opening statement for a blockbuster House hearing on the tech industry Wednesday.
But Zuckerberg, whose companys disinformation policies have provoked a global advertising boycott organized by civil rights groups, will also tout the social media giants importance in national conversations about racial justice, elections and economic concerns.
POLITICO reviewed the statement ahead of Wednesdays hearing in the House Judiciary Committees antitrust subcommittee, which will also feature testimony from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
“We recognize that we have a responsibility to stop bad actors from interfering with or undermining these conversations through misinformation, attempted voter suppression, or speech that is hateful or incites violence,” Zuckerbergs statement says. “I understand the concerns people have in these areas, and we are working to address them. While we are making progress — for example, we have dramatically improved our ability to proactively find and remove harmful content and prevent election interference — I recognize that we have more to do.”
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the statement.
Civil rights activists and many Democrats have castigated Facebook for its policy of refusing to fact-check or remove deceptive posts or ads from political candidates, a stance they say benefits President Donald Trumps reelection campaign and ignores a long history of voter suppression efforts in the U.S. They have also criticized Facebook for leaving up a post earlier this year in which Trump appeared to threaten that people taking part in social justice protests might be shot.
Zuckerbergs newest comment also comes in the wake of news about a video going viral on Facebook that featured incorrect and dangerous claims about the novel coronavirus. It racked up millions of views before Facebook took it down.
On the other hand, disinformation is not the stated purpose of Wednesdays hearing. Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, convened the panel to talk about competition among tech giants as the industry has consolidated.
Zuckerbergs written remarks include an implicit jab at Democrats concerns about the emergence of tech behemoths.
“As I understand our laws, companies arent bad just because they are big,” Zuckerbergs remarks say, echoing an earlier comment from the panels Republicans. “Many laRead More – Source