Google, Facebook and Twitter face changes to Section 230 media law protections

Sen. John Thune in a congressional hearing, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a computer screen.

Sen. John Thune questions Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a Senate committee hearing with big tech companies on reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 


Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

There isn’t much that Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill  agree on these days. But when it comes to reforming a decades-old law that shields large social media companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter from lawsuits over the content their users post on their platforms, there is agreement that something needs to be done. 

On Wednesday, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee to discuss potential legislation that would limit protections for social media companies under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which provides a shield to online publishers from liability for content generated by users. Several proposals have already been introduced.

Republicans railed against the companies and their CEOs,

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