On Thursday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce announced an upcoming joint hearing on misinformation and disinformation online and on social media. Set to testify are Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey, the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter, respectively.
Scheduled for March 25, the fully remote event will serve as a joint hearing between the subcommittees for Communications and Technology and for Consumer Protection and Commerce.
In announcing the event, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (Democrat of New Jersey), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (Democrat of Pennsylvania), and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (Democrat of Illinois)for its role in the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories during times of crisis.
“Whether it be falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine or debunked claims of election fraud, these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” the chairs said. “Industry self-regulation has failed. We must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.”
Additional details are set to be released during the week prior to the hearing. Facebook and Twitter didn’t respond to a request for comment. Google confirmed to CNET that Pichai will attend.