Social media executives claim no censorship at Senate hearing

Combating online hate without censorship

(NBC NEWS) - Twitter and Facebook executives testified Wednesday at a Senate hearing about concerns of censorship on social media.

Republican senators accused the companies of targeting right-leaning posts for censorship. “The anecdotes we’re aware of consistently on one side of the aisle,” said Senator Ted Cruz.

Company representatives argued its not censorship, but rather even-handed enforcement of rules meant to prevent hate speech and harassment.

“Facebook does not favor one political viewpoint over another and we do not suppress speech,” Neil Potts, Facebook director of public policy, testified.

The hearing came just one day after a House hearing about the role tech companies play in the spread of white supremacy online.

“Without question they are using on-line platforms to recruit new members,” Kristen Clarke of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told the panel.

That hearing was streamed on YouTube, and met with the same extremism under discussion. The comments section was filled with hateful comments and white supremacist language, and was quickly shut down by YouTube.

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