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Facebook and Twitter executives testified Wednesday on Capitol Hill about their alleged political bias in the wake of numerous anecdotal instances of censorship reported by users of the social media sites.
Carlos Monje Jr., director of public policy for Twitter Inc., and Neil Potts, public policy director for Facebook, appeared before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution.
Topic - Hearing - Censorship - Views - Tech
The topic of the hearing was censorship of conservative views by big tech firms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
Also speaking were the director of the new pro-life movie “Unplanned,” college professors, and the father of a child murdered during the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.
Highlights - Hearing
Here are six highlights from the hearing.
Monje stressed that Twitter “does not use political viewpoints, perspectives, or party affiliation” in making decisions about content or rankings.
Potts - Facebook - Strives - Diversity - Opinion
Similarly, Potts said Facebook strives for diversity of opinion.
“I would like to state unequivocally that Facebook does not favor one political viewpoint over another, nor does Facebook suppress conservative speech,” Potts told the Senate panel.
Community - Standards - Content - Way - Users
“Our Community Standards have been carefully designed to ensure that content is reviewed in a neutral way, focused on what is necessary to keep our users safe.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., confronted Monje, who apologized for pulling her pro-life ad during the 2018 campaign because Twitter deemed it “inflammatory.”
Yes - Answer - Blackburn - Media - Executives
Seeking a yes or no answer, Blackburn asked both social media executives whether their platforms should “promote spirited debate on all sides of the political spectrum.”
Both answered yes.
Blackburn - Ads - Turtles - Baby - Seals
Blackburn then asked: “Should Facebook allow ads urging that we save sea turtles or baby seals?”
“I believe that would be fine,” Potts answered.
Blackburn - Monje - Ads - Denounce - Parenthood
Blackburn turned to Monje: “Should Twitter allow ads that denounce Planned Parenthood for selling baby body parts?”
Monje: “Every ad is judged within context. We made a mistake on your ad, and I apologize.”
Monje also apologized to...
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