Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out steps to reform the main internet law, saying that companies should enjoy immunity from liability only if they follow best practices to remove harmful substances from their platforms, according to Reuters.
In testimony prepared for a joint hearing before two House Energy and Trade subcommittees on Thursday, Zuckerberg acknowledged lawmakers’ calls for changes to a law called Section 230 of the Communications Etiquette Act, which gives companies like Facebook immunity from liability for content posted by users.
The House hearing focused on the role of social media in promoting extremism and disinformation “to address Democrats’ concerns about the spread of disinformation during the Coronavirus pandemic and the presidential elections.
It will also likely discuss ways to hold technology platforms accountable through internet law reform, and Google and Twitter executives will testify at the hearing.
Google CEO Sander Bichai will offer suggestions for law reform, but unlike Zuckerberg, he will not advocate adopting a set of best practices, according to his testimony, and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey will lay out the steps the platform has taken to tackle the disinformation.
Zuckerberg and Pichai will also urge caution as Congress considers reforming the law.
Zuckerberg wrote in his testimony: “Platforms should not be held responsible if a certain piece of content evades detection – it would be impractical for platforms that contain billions of posts per day.”
Google’s Pichai also struck a similar note saying, “Without Section 230, platforms will either over-filter content or be unable to filter content at all.”
Instead, Pichai suggested solutions such as developing clear and accessible content policies, notifying people when their content is removed and giving them ways to challenge content decisions.
There is a plethora of legislation from Democrats to reform Section 230 in congressional hearings, and several Republican lawmakers are separately pushing for the act to be repealed entirely.