Facebook, Twitter CEOs express support for changes to key law governing internet speech

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies virtually Tuesday about social media’s responsibilities in fighting hatred while promoting free speech.


Screenshot by CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed Tuesday to support changes to a key federal internet law even as they pushed back at allegations that their companies are biased against conservative views.

In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the pair of executives answered a range of questions that strayed from the original topic: how the companies handled the 2020 US election. The four-and-a-half-hour hearing touched on tech addiction, encryption and antitrust, in addition to content moderation.

The testimony marked the second congressional appearance for both men in less than a month. Though the exchanges were more cordial than last month’s, it was clear from the outset that lawmakers are intent on reining in the two popular social networks. One frequently raised possibility: revising Section 230, a

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Hackers spread hate speech on Dist. 207 website

Students at two suburbanchool districts were exposed to hate speech and lewd material this week after hackers apparently infiltrated both districts’ websites, school officials said.

Police were investigating Wednesday’s incidents that targeted the Maine Township High School District 207 and Niles Township High School District 219 — both of which have ethnically and racially diverse student populations, the Pioneer Press suburban newspaper group reported.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

District 219, which has two schools in Skokie, said in a statement to parents that emails were sent through a district email account Wednesday night to all district students containing “lewd, racist, anti-Semitic and patently offensive content.”

The district said its information technology team is working with the Skokie Police Department to investigate the incident, which prompted school officials to cancel Thursday’s first-period remote learning classes and temporarily suspend student access to district email accounts.

“As a district we condemn these actions and messages,” the district

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Tim Cook takes shots at Google, NSA during speech on privacy and encryption

Tim Cook believes Apple has a moral obligation to protect its users’ privacy, and he’ll got to any lengths to let you know it—even if it means taking shots at fellow Silicon Valley power players like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.

“Like many of you, we at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security. We can, and we must provide both in equal measure. We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demand it, the Constitution demands it, morality demands it,” Cook said during his speech at the EPIC civil liberties event in Washington, D.C. this week, was he was the first business leader ever to be honored. 

The Apple CEO quickly took aim at the tech companies that have made billions out of selling off personal user data to advertisers—from search queries to email content to

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Clarence Thomas Wants to Rethink Internet Speech. Be Afraid

But I suspect a different line of thinking inspired the Thomas comment. A Supreme Court justice’s public reservations about Section 230 do not come in a vacuum. For months now, politicians have been attacking 230. While both sides of the aisle have complaints (including from former Vice President Biden), the most virulent ones come from the right. So whether he intended it or not, Thomas’ words are a dog whistle to those who want to hobble social media’s ability to filter out lies that poison the culture, endanger our health, and generally make us hate each other.

Indeed, it didn’t take long for the justice’s comments to energize conservatives who despise Section 230. Only hours after the Thomas memo was posted, it found its way into the Amy Coney Barrett hearings. Senator Josh Hawley, who wants to strip Section 230 protections from platforms if they moderate misinformation in political speech,

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