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E&C Announces Two Legislative Hearings in December Focused on Big Tech Accountability

Nov 17, 2021
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) today announced two legislative hearings for next month on Wednesday, December 1, and Thursday, December 9, focused on legislation to hold Big Tech accountable.

“Over the past several years, the Committee has seen mounting evidence that when social media companies are faced with the choice between making more money or protecting public health and safety, they will continue to choose money,” Pallone said. “The lack of transparency within these companies has serious repercussions for all Americans. The time for self-regulation is over. Congress must now come together in a bipartisan way to thoughtfully consider proposals that bring about real accountability. Next month, we will hold two legislative hearings with the aim of doing just that as we examine how best to hold platforms accountable for making the internet a safer place.”

On December 1, the Communications and Technology Subcommittee will hold a legislative hearing focused on holding Big Tech companies accountable by reforming Section 230. The Subcommittee will discuss what it will take to recalibrate the law in a way that better incentivizes responsible actions by tech companies.

“Social media companies continue to put profits before people by doubling down on a business model that deliberately inundates users with harmful content for the sake of ad dollars,” said Doyle. “We can no longer allow these platforms to shirk responsibility for the real-life consequences of their actions, and I look forward to talking with experts on how to forge a path forward where platforms can be held accountable.”

On December 9, the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee will hold a legislative hearing on an array of proposals to enhance transparency, promote online safety, and hold Big Tech accountable. 

“The algorithms used by Big Tech on their platforms all too often promote dangerous, divisive, and extremist content to maximize engagement and profits,” said Schakowsky. “These businesses are infecting our public discourse and threatening our democracy, and Congress must take up legislation that puts consumers first. I’m looking forward to discussing legislation at next month’s hearing that explores solutions to these problems and builds a safer, more transparent, and accountable internet ecosystem.”

Additional details, including the legislation to be discussed, will be announced the week before each of the hearings.