- The three tech titans were questioned if they felt that their social media platforms were responsible for the Capitol riots, and had to reply with just a yes or no answer.
- During the hearing, Dorsey tweeted out a poll with just a question mark and gave his followers the option to reply in Yes or No.
- It was only Dorsey who replied with yes to the question and said the broader ecosystem had to be taken into account.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce on March 25 about the spread of misinformation and disinformation online in the aftermath of the January 6 riots at the Capitol. The hearing was held to address misinformation and extremism. The three tech titans were questioned if they felt that their social media platforms were responsible for the riots, and had to reply with "just a yes or no answer." The lawmakers from both parties interrupte the tech CEOs when they tried to give longer answers.
Dorsey saw this as an opportunity to take a dig at Congress and indirectly express his frustration through Twitter. He tweeted out a poll with a just question mark and the replies as Yes or No. Representative Kathleen Rice, a Democrat from New York, who seemingly saw the tweet asked Dorsey which result "yes" or "no" was winning in his poll to which Dorsey replied "Yes." "Your multitasking skills are quite impressive," Rice responded, seemingly annoyed at the Twitter CEO. At the time of writing this article, the tweet saw 98,077 votes out of which 65.3 per cent voted Yes and 34.7 per cent voted No.
?— jack (@jack) March 25, 2021
However, it was only Dorsey who replied with "yes" to the question and said the "broader ecosystem" had to be taken into account. Pichai said that the company always feels a sense of responsibility but it was a complex question, while Zuckerberg said his company was responsible for building "effective systems". He also said that the rioters and former President Donald Trump should be held accountable.
Lawmakers quizzed the executives over concerns from COVID-19 misinformation, harassment, hate speech and extremism, Reuters reported.
As the hearing took place, Dorsey also liked tweets criticising aspects of the session, including asking why members of Congress were mispronouncing Pichai's name, and replied to a tweet confirming that he was barefoot during the call.
The US Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr had recently noted that online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety. "This hearing will continue the Committee`s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation," Pallone had said.