In a new op-ed for USA Today, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), both leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, call on internet platforms, like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, to be transparent and clear about how they screen content. This is the latest push from Chair McMorris Rodgers, who wrote for IJR earlier this year on why Facebook needs to rebuild trust and treat content objectively.
Interested in reading Whip Scalise’s and Chair McMorris Rodgers’s op-ed? CLICK HERE or read a few highlights below.
Google, Twitter and Facebook should evaluate their biases
By Whip Scalise and Chair McMorris Rodgers
Add Google to the list of tech companies who owe the American people answers. A leaked video of Google executives surfaced recently that depicts them lamenting the 2016 election outcome. Google co-founder Sergey Brin told employees that he found the election “deeply offensive.” It is clear that left-leaning political bias exists among senior employees at Google. The question remains: How do their personal biases affect their products and choices?
The House Energy and Commerce Committee held hearings with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this year to have a transparent discussion about fair and free platforms for the battle of ideas. As members of the committee, we asked questions that Americans are concerned about regarding content bias, harassment, hate speech allegations and personal data privacy.
We are challenging all Silicon Valley CEOs to embrace their role as both champions and stewards of a free and fair public square. You should present users with clear, consistent and transparent content management standards — and openly communicate when you update or change your practices. You must also rise to the challenge of quickly responding to violent threats.
This will restore trust that users can use these platforms without fear of being victims of violence, or skepticism that what they are seeing is filtered through an ideological lens. It won’t be easy, and we will all be watching, but the future of civil discourse and the public square depends upon it.