The CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google before a Congressional panel on disinformation Thursday. Before the hearing, the Chamber has opening statements by Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai.
is particularly noteworthy. It includes a proposal to modify , a section of the Communications Decency Act 1996 that protects Internet companies from liability for user activities. He once again expressed Facebook’s support for “updated Internet regulations” and his own hope that Congress will enact “thoughtful reform of Section 230.” Zuckerberg noted that while the principles of the provision remain relevant, the internet has changed dramatically over the past 25 years and suggested that Section 230 “would benefit from thoughtful changes to work better for people”.
“We believe Congress should consider making the protection of platform intermediary liability for certain types of illegal content conditional on the ability of companies to adhere to best practices to combat the dissemination of such content,” Zuckerberg said. . “Instead of receiving immunity, platforms should be required to demonstrate that they have systems in place to identify illegal content and remove it.” billions of messages a day – but they should be required to have adequate systems in place to fight illegal content. “
Zuckerberg suggested that these best practices should not be about “stand-alone issues like encryption or privacy changes that deserve a full debate in their own right.” He suggested that such “adequate systems” need not necessarily meet a universal standard. Instead, they could be “commensurate with the size of the platform and defined by a third party.”
This could make things relatively fair for small businesses and novice social media services without Facebook’s vast resources. But, depending on how the layout is changed, it could limit the competition Big Tech faces if newcomers can’t afford sufficient moderation teams.
Zuckerberg’s proposal, if passed by Congress, likely wouldn’t force Facebook to make too many changes to its current moderation practices. Nonetheless, it might address some of the concerns that many have about section 230. Senators have a number of bills and reform proposals of the provision.
President Joe Biden of Section 230 during his campaign. , Pichai warned of the dangers of doing so. He described the provision as “fundamental” to the open web. “Without Section 230, platforms would either overfilter content or not be able to filter content at all,” Pichai wrote. “In the fight against disinformation, Section 230 empowers businesses to take decisive action against harmful disinformation and follow bad actors who work hard to circumvent their policies.”
Dorsey, meanwhile, highlighted , an experiment aimed at combating disinformation on the platform with the help of the community. He also pointed out , a project to develop an open social media standard.
“Bluesky will eventually allow Twitter and other businesses to contribute and access open recommendation algorithms that promote healthy conversation and ultimately give people more choice,” . “These standards will support innovation, making it easier for startups to solve problems such as abuse and hate speech at a lower cost.”