The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee was forced to delay its Wednesday hearing with Big Tech CEOs because Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg experienced a technical difficulty.
Zuckerberg was slated to deliver his opening statement last, following Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. All three CEOs appeared before the committee virtually, the Independent reported.
The hearing was briefly thrown off its tight schedule because Zuckerberg was having connectivity issues.
“Members should be advised at this point, that we are unable to make contact with Mr. Mark Zuckerberg,” Chairman Roger Wicker said.
“We are told by Facebook staff that he is alone and attempting to connect with this hearing and that they are requesting a five-minute recess at this point to see if that connection can be made. I think this is a most interesting development.”
The Mississippi Republican granted the five-minute recess but resumed the hearing within two minutes because the committee had been successful in connecting with Zuckerberg.
“I was able to hear the other opening statements. I was just having trouble connecting myself,” Zuckerberg told the committee.
Wicker replied, “I know the feeling, Mr. Zuckerberg,” and resumed the hearing.
Wednesday’s hearing was the latest grilling the Big Tech CEOs faced over alleged anti-conservative bias, The Associated Press reported.
Pichai, Dorsey and Zuckerberg all agreed to appear remotely after being threatened with subpoenas.
Republicans have accused the Big Tech companies of censoring conservative, religious and pro-life views on their platforms.
The criticism was renewed after Facebook and Twitter limited the spread of a New York Post story alleging corruption by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
Twitter claimed that it censored the article on its platform in part because “the images contained in the articles include personal and private information — like email addresses and phone numbers — which violate our rules.”
Twitter and Facebook have also placed “misinformation” labels on some of President Donald Trump’s posts.
Facebook and Google are also not accepting any new political advertising, while Twitter banned all political ads last year.
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