Facebook and Twitter face Senate over accusations of tech censorship

CNET | 4/10/2019 | Richard Nieva
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Sen. Ted Cruz, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution.

Facebook and Twitter are once again under fire from Congress for allegedly suppressing the views of conservatives.

Giants - Accusations - Senate - Wednesday - Day

The tech giants tried to fend off accusations from the Senate on Wednesday, a day after Facebook and Google attended another high-profile hearing over the spread of white nationalism on their platforms.

"Not only does big tech have the power to silence voices with which they disagree, but big tech has the power to collate a person's feed in a way that agrees with their political agenda," Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, said in his opening statement. "What makes the threat of political censorship so problematic is the lack of transparency."

Giants - Accusations - Agenda

The tech giants denied accusations that they're pushing a political agenda.

"Suppressing content on the basis of political viewpoint, or preventing people from seeing what matters most to them, is directly contrary to Facebook's mission," said Neil Potts, Facebook's public policy director. "We want Facebook to be a place where people can discover a greater diversity of news and information than they could otherwise."

Twitter - Analysis - Congress - Members - Tweets

Twitter said it had performed a statistical analysis of Congress members' tweets, in preparation for the hearing. The company tracked tweets over a five-week period, and the social network found "no statistically significant difference" between the reach of tweets by Democrats versus Republicans, said Carlos Monje Jr., Twitter's director of public policy and philanthropy for the US and Canada.

Watch this: What Facebook and Google say they’re doing to combat...

Google - Search - Giant

Google was also initially set to testify. The search giant...
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