US Capitol Attack Hearing: Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Blames Trump, Twitter CEO Takes Some Responsibility
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai appeared at a virtual hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the topic of disinformation, examining the role of their platforms in promoting extremism and disinformation.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has refused to take any responsibility for the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, which left five people dead and many more injured. Zuckerberg blamed former US President Donald Trump for his words and the people for their actions.
At the hearing, lawmakers wanted the Facebook CEO to own up some responsibility for the attack for helping to organize it.
Democratic Representative Mike Doyle asked, “How can you not at least admit that Facebook played a prominent role in the recruitment, planning, and execution of the Capitol Hill attack?”
Zuckerberg replied, “The responsibility of the attack lies on the people who broke the law.”
Besides Zuckerberg, Pichai and Dorsey also faced questions related to misinformation and safety issues affecting their online platforms during the hearing that extended up to over five hours.
Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey said that he takes some responsibility for online organizing that led to the January 6 riot at Capitol Hill, whereas Alphabet Inc. deflected blame.
Representative Doyle asked Dorsey, Zuckerberg, and Pichai if their platforms bear the responsibility for disseminating “Stop the Steal” disinformation. He alleged the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. He demanded an answer in the form of yes or no.
Dorsey said, “Yes, but there is a need to take into consideration a broader ecosystem. It is not just about the technology platforms we use.”
Dorsey also said that he was in the favor of the idea of encouraging tech companies to be more transparent about the practices they follow.
When Doyle asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, “This is a complex question.” He added, “We always feel a deep sense of responsibility.”
Lawmakers have been seeking tighter regulations over online content. The pressure these days is increasing on tech firms to aggressively restrain violent and misleading content on their platforms.
Doyle said, “That day people died and many were injured. That movement motivating the attack was nourished on your platforms. Your platforms suggest the people videos they should view, posts they should like, and groups they should join.”