Sessions Calls Together State Attorneys General To Consider Social Media Giants 'Stifling' Free Speech


Concerns that Facebook, Twitter and Google have stifled free speech on their platforms has brought about mistrust of these tech companies.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions scheduled a meeting in September to discuss this potential problem with state attorneys general. They will also be addressing the possible abuse of antitrust laws.

“The Attorney General has convened a meeting with a number of state attorneys general this month to discuss a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms,” Department of Justice spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement to The Hill.

This accusation would put businesses like Facebook and Twitter back in the hot seat where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg found himself in April testifying about the 2016 presidential election and potential Russian interference.

More recently, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

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They spoke about their increased efforts to target foreign entities and minimize the spread of misinformation, especially with midterm elections coming up in November.

“Clearly, this problem is not going away. I’m not even sure it’s trending in the right direction,” said Sen. Richard Burr, the committee’s Republican chairman, according to Reuters.

“I’m skeptical that, ultimately, you’ll be able to truly address this challenge on your own. Congress is going to have to take action here,” said Sen. Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the committee.

Dorsey testified a second time on Wednesday to the House Energy and Commerce Committee regarding conservative censorship allegations.

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Facebook, Twitter and Google have denied all accusations.

“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment,” said a Google spokesperson in a statement.

Conservatives and even President Trump have shared their complaints about potential conservative bias on both platforms.

These hearings are the first steps in addressing Trump’s public bias accusations and challenging the substantial market power these companies have acquired.

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Google has been fined multiple times in Europe for billions of dollars regarding antitrust laws, and Facebook is facing antitrust scrutiny there as well.

Last week in an interview with Bloomberg, Trump stated the tech companies may be in a “very antitrust situation” but did not say yet whether they should be broken up.

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Jacque is a digital marketer and writer providing quality content for a variety of businesses. She has been tasked with researching a broad spectrum of topics including digital marketing, social media, solar panel and clean energy technology, blockchain technology, accounting and creative tax strategy, business loans, niche manufacturing, natural health, wellness and more.
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