Big Tech Companies to Testify Before Senate on ‘Extremism’

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Big Tech representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google will testify September 18 on their platforms’ supposed “digital responsibility” to prevent “mass violence.”

ABC News reported that Big Tech representatives such as “Facebook's head of global policy management Monika Bickert, Twitter's public policy director Nick Pickles and Google's global director of information policy Derek Slater” are all slated to represent their companies as witnesses for the September 18 hearing. 

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation said in a statement:

"in light of recent incidents of mass violence, this hearing will examine the proliferation of extremism online and explore the effectiveness of industry efforts to remove violent content from online platforms."

The committee added that "Witnesses will discuss how technology companies are working with law enforcement when violent or threatening content is identified and the processes for removal of such content.”

Any mention in ABC News’ coverage of how Big Tech enables Islamic terrorism was tellingly absent, focusing instead on the Christchurch gunman and noting that “Facebook and Instagram announced they were expanding their bans on white supremacy on their platforms.” 

In the aftermath of the terror attack, multiple leaders of Big Tech companies and entire countries signed onto the Christchurch Call to prevent extremists from uploading hateful content online. The United States, characteristically wary of slippery slopes that could lead to restriction of free speech, declined to sign the call. 

The list of committee members who may be present has a few major public figures from both sides of American politics ranging from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas to presidential primary candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. 

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