The CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter could face subpoenas from the Senate Commerce Committee unless they commit to testifying before Congress on Oct. 1.
“[U]nless we receive a very prompt affirmative response, we will be issuing the subpoenas,” a staffer for Senate Commerce Chair Roger Wicker, R-Miss., wrote in a Wednesday email, Politico reported. Wicker’s office will issue the subpoenas if the CEOs don’t agree to testify by Thursday evening, according to Politico.
The committee’s ranking member, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has been informed that Wicker is prepared to subpoena Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
The committee’s invites to the CEOs went out on Monday or earlier, according to Politico.
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, to discuss his plans for the new cryptocurrency Libra. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
The Oct. 1 hearing will focus on a 1996 Internet law that social media companies rely on to provide them with liability protections. That portion of the law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, is at the center of a debate over social media companies’ power after President Trump signed an executive order in May that could remove some of their protections if they engage in “selective censorship” harmful to national discourse.