Tech bosses face questions on Capitol Hill riot

Chief executives of Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet appear before US House

The chief executives of Facebook, Twitter and Google's parent company Alphabet faced a fresh round of questioning in the US House over how they police falsehoods on their internet services, with lawmakers focusing on misleading information on Covid-19, vaccines and the election.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai were asked about the role of their platforms in the January 6th riot at the US Capitol.

"People died that day, and hundreds were seriously injured," said Representative Mike Doyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat. "That attack and the movement that motivated it started and was nourished on your platforms. Your platforms suggested groups people should join, videos they should view, and posts they should like."

Tense exchange

Later, in a particularly tense exchange, Mr Doyle questioned the executives about whether they think their services were partly to blame for the development of the far-right "Stop the Steal" campaign, which falsely promoted the idea that widespread voter fraud cost former president Donald Trump the election.

Mr Zuckerberg said his company should build effective systems to fight bad actors, but stressed that it was the individuals who organised the events at the Capitol who bore responsibility for the riot. Mr Pichai called Doyle’s remarks a “complex question”, while Mr Dorsey acknowledged that Twitter was partly to blame.

“Yes, but you also have to take into consideration the broader ecosystem,” he said.

– Bloomberg