World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 26 Mar, 2021 05:45 am

Democrats and Republicans use House hearing on social media “disinformation and extremism” to advance internet censorship

Democrats and Republicans use House hearing on social media “disinformation and extremism” to advance internet censorship
Democrats and Republicans used the platform of the hearing to advance their equally reactionary proposals to regulate and control online content in the aftermath of the January 6 fascist attack on the US Capitol and one year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A joint hearing entitled “Disinformation Nation: Social Media’s Role in Promoting Extremism and Misinformation” was held on Thursday by two subcommittees of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and at which the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter testified.They can be summarized as follows: The Democrats are demanding that social media and internet content—especially left-wing criticism of the Biden administration considered “divisive,” “harmful” and “extremist”—be directly regulated by the government.” The absurdity that the House hearing would address the use of social media and online technologies by extreme right-wing groups to organize the January 6 attack on the US Capitol was exposed by the fact that the subject was barely discussed at all.” Even though there is publicly available information that the Proud Boys used social media to recruit members, raise funds and gather military-style equipment prior to January 6, nothing new about this question was reported by the tech CEOs or uncovered by the representatives.

It is not surprising that the role of social media in the fascist insurrection against the US Constitution was not discussed, even though two-thirds of the 26 Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted against the certification of the 2020 election results.This was followed by statements and questioning of the tech CEOs by dozens of representatives for five minutes each.

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