Okay readers please send help because in this THREAD I will be semi-live tweeting today's hearing the Senate Judiciary Committee where lawmakers like Lindsey Graham will pretend to care about things like free speech and Big Tech abuses while showboating about the election
Live video for the hearing hasn't started yet, so quickly here's what to expect. Republicans will yell about specific moderation decisions, spread baseless claims of bias, and talk a lot about Hunter Biden's laptop. Democrats will mostly argue platforms don't moderate enough.
And we're off. Graham is working on a world record for the most @BadSec230Takes in one sentence. He just incorrectly stated the way Section 230 liability protections work. In fact, Section 230 *does* protect individuals from liability for, for example, retweeting Lindsey Graham
Now Graham is reading off studies about the impact of social media on mental health. What's frustrating is that we absolutely SHOULD be having a conversation about how Big Tech's surveillance capitalist business model is harming our kids and their future. This hearing ain't that.
Graham correctly notes that Facebook and Twitter build their products to maximize "engagement" at all costs. But none of the bills he's introduced to mess with Section 230, for example, would do a damn thing to address that problem. This is about helping his friends, nothing else
Lindsey Graham just mentioned the EARN IT Act, a bill he co-sponsored with @SenBlumenthal which has been roundly condemned by child abuse prevention experts, human rights organizations, security experts, LGBTQ groups, sex workers, etc etc etc. http://noearnitact.org 
"I don't want the government deciding what content to take up and put down" says @LindseyGrahamSC who has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation that would do exactly that, specifically the EARN IT act, which would create a Fed gov commission to set moderation "best practices"
Senator Blumenthal is correctly identifying the massive monopoly power that Big Tech companies have amassed. But unfortunately he's still stuck in the same bad idea land that Graham is, thinking that Section 230 is the root of the problem rather than surveillance capitalism.
Hi @LindseyGrahamSC if you blow up 230 then Twitter won't be putting labels on tweets, they'll be censoring them wholesale or putting each one through a week long legal review process.

And @SenBlumenthal, it will open up moderators to getting sued for removing hate speech
"I look forward to an opportunity for real change," says @SenBlumenthal who along with @LindseyGrahamSC is backing some of the most disingenuous legislation in Congress related to Big Tech harms.
"We musn't entrench the largest companies any further," says @jack, correctly noting that messing with Section 230 will actually solidify the monopoly power of the largest tech giants while killing off their competition. That's why Zuckerberg says he's open to 230 reform
Zuckerberg up now robotically reading a prepared statement. I wrote here about why Facebook is now calling for Section 230 reform (spoiler: it helps them and hurts their competitors) https://www.fightforthefuture.org/news/2020-10-28-blowing-up-section-230-will-trample-human-rights/
Missed this but @jack also mentioned that Twitter made it harder to retweet, which honestly was a pretty good measure to take. Zuckerberg meanwhile touting everything FB did but doesn't mention they supercharged algorithmic recruitment to private groups https://www.wired.com/story/political-ads-arent-the-problem-facebooks-algorithms-are/
Calling for regulation is Big Tech's playbook on everything. Amazon wants "regulation" on facial recognition so they can keep selling it to cops without being responsible for the result. Facebook calls for data privacy legislation because they know their lobbyists will shape it
Classic monopoly move. AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon did the same thing on net neutrality. They say "oh no we're not against net neutrality, we just want comprehensive bipartisan legislation to address this issue" meaning "our lawyers will make sure it's full of loopholes for us"
Zuckerberg giving a non-answer right now about algorithmic amplification because his company's entire business model is based on harvesting our data and using it to artificially amplify and suppress content in order to maximize "engagement" no matter what the human costs are.
Zuck lying out his ass saying that Facebook is not "designed" to be addictive. Of course it is.
lololol i hope the people who made @SocialDilemma_ are happy that @LindseyGrahamSC is now namechecking their film during his showboat hearing to attack Section 230 in ways that will be devastating for marginalized people. great work.
whoah, when pinned down by Lindsey Graham @jack just said (for the first time, I believe?) that he supports changes to Section 230. I guess Twitter is now also big enough that they feel like they can weather changes to this law, or perhaps he just feels like he can't say no.
Graham compared social media to cigarettes. I wrote here about how @SocialDilemma_ makes the same mistake https://twitter.com/evan_greer/status/1306341560548757505
Blumenthal pointing out situations where Facebook favored conservative pages for fear of getting attacked by the GOP, but the irony is that both sides are working the refs in a game that the general public always loses. We desperately need to have a smarter conversation on this.
Really a bummer that we had to wait until the very end of this hearing to start talking about actual solutions to Big Tech monopoly power like antitrust action and strong Federal data privacy legislation. There are so many questions we SHOULD be asking Jack and Zuck
I know i'm supposed to be live-tweeting but Senator Cornyn is just so damn boring that I honestly have no idea what he just said.
. @SenFeinstein apparently just learning today that Twitter has been labeling Trump's tweets?
um... referring to election disinfo @SenFeinstein just said "these tweets arouse people" and now i am blushing and sad at the same time
Feinstein just asking over and over again about specific tweets and whether labeling them "does enough."

Just come out and say that you want widespread censorship.

Both Democrats and Republicans consistently show they have no clue how content moderation works.
One of Facebook's third party fact checking partners is the Daily Caller
Sen Lee now listing off a bunch of anecdotes while claiming a systemic pattern that there is no evidence for, which honestly is the standard argument for politicians when talking about content moderation generally
Senator Lee's whole spiel is nonsensical and just repeating baseless claims of bias, but this question about whether there is a comprehensive list of accounts that have been banned or suppressed is valid. Platforms should offer way more transparency into moderation decisions.
And we now go back to Senator Graham ... who has disappeared?
Hearing is now in recess. I'm doing just fine thanks for your concern.
You'll see a lot of news stories about the hearing today that say things like "Senate hearing shows growing bipartisan agreement on changing Silicon Valley's prized legal shield." I really really wish these reporters would talk to people other than Senators, CEOs, and lobbyists.
Here we go. Ted Cruz kicks off by correctly saying that "Facebook, Google, and Twitter have massive power," but then launches into a disingenuous tirade about how Dems are working the refs when that's exactly what he's doing. He doesn't support real policy to address Big Tech
Now Cruz is just saying a bunch of stuff and asking @jack to confirm whether it would violate Twitter's policies. All of this is just so deeply silly and infuriating.
Ironically, what Cruz is saying right now is sort of exactly what would happen if lawmakers gut Section 230. He'll have to call @jack and ask if each tweet will clear legal review before he can tweet it.
Sorry I abruptly stopped tweeting the Section 230 hearing. I urgently needed to walk to the top of the tallest hill in the arboretum and scream
My voice is hoarse but for some reason I am back and this hearing is still going. @SenCoonsOffice up now talking about the "battle for truth." He's totally right about the need for action to address hate speech and disinformation. But attacking Section 230 won't do that, so...
Zuckerberg says that Facebook's next transparency report will include data on the prevalence of hate speech on the platform. I'd really love to know how they are defining it for these purposes, in dozens of languages, including millions of hours of live video, etc. etc.
Ah yes now @SenJoniErnst is asking why Facebook won't hire more bigots and climate deniers because Senators micromanaging who private companies employ is definitely the way to defend free speech
Zuckerberg now saying remote work will let them hire more rural Republicans I guess because it's important to take these totally disingenuous concerns seriously?
And there it is @SenJoniErnst uses a "protect the children" argument to attack end-to-end encryption. This is an argument that has been debunked over and over and over again by child protection experts, security experts, civil liberties experts, etc etc etc.
Senator @maziehirono refreshingly straight forward in calling out the whole premise of the hearing as a sham, lambasts GOP lawmakers for "working the refs" ... then goes on to work the refs
"Mr Dorsey, do you believe everything you read?" says Senator Kennedy who is definitely very serious about policy making
Senator Booker up now spending his time reiterating that Trump lost, which tbh actually seems much more productive than most things that have been said in this hearing
Booker's metaphor about how the US would view Trump's actions where he a foreign dictator were pretty cringe but his question about algorithmic amplification is encouraging. We need more discussion about actual harmful practices and amplification rather than specific speech
Zuckerberg mentions that Facebook paused algorithmic recommendations for groups, which genuinely is a good thing I think, but it's the exact opposite of what the company was saying just a few weeks ago when it was turning on algorithmic amplification for posts within groups
Booker now asking about why platforms don’t ask faster. It’s a valid question but it’s hard to not read this as “why don’t you censor first and ask questions later?”
Marsha Blackburn now complaining about cancel culture. Zuckerberg says he "generally agrees." Of course none of this has literally anything to do with actual policy changes that could address any of this
Blackburn raises her voice as she reminds Facebook and Twitter that they are "Title I" services, ironic since she has vehemently fought against net neutrality protections to prevent Title II services like ISPs from abusing the exact type of power she's saying websites have
Ending the hearing with Graham and Blumenthal once again pushing the EARN IT Act, which attacks Section 230, free expression, and encryption all in one terrible bill that is widely opposed by experts. 600k+ people have signed our petition against it http://noearnitact.org 
Thank god this is over. If you're a journalist covering the hearing today, please please please do not only quote Senators and tech CEOs. There are so many human rights groups, legal experts, technologists, racial justice advocates etc etc who are working on these issues.
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