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Democrat Ed Markey at Big Tech hearing: 'Anti-conservative bias is not a problem'

Markey called Republican charges of censorship against Facebook and Twitter a 'false narrative'

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) claimed Wednesday that Big Tech censorship of conservatives on social media platforms is "not a problem" and advocated for more censorship on social media.

Speaking during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing featuring testimonies from the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, Markey accused Republicans of focusing on the wrong issue with tech companies.

"Republicans can and should join us on the real problems posed by Big Tech," Markey said. "But they want to feed a false narrative about anti-conservative bias so it will stand idly by again."

"The Big Tech business model, which puts profits ahead of people, is a real problem. Anti-conservative bias is not a problem," he added.

"The issue is not that the companies before us today is that they're taking too many posts down. The issue is that they're leaving too many dangerous posts up," Markey continued.

"In fact, they're amplifying harmful content so that it spreads like wildfire and torches our democracy," Markey claimed. "Mr. Zuckerberg, when President Trump posted on Facebook that when 'the looting starts the shooting starts,' you failed to take down that post. Within a day, the post had hundreds of thousands of shares and likes on Facebook. Since then, the president has gone on national television and told a hate group to 'stand by' and he has repeatedly refused to commit that he will accept the election results.

"Mr. Zuckerberg, can you commit that if the president goes on Facebook and encourages violence after election results are announced that you will make sure your companies algorithms don't spread that content and you will immediately remove those messages?" Markey asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Wednesday's hearing, titled, "Does Section 230's Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?" was convened to discuss Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online social media platforms from lawsuits over user-posted content moderation.

Republicans called for the hearings after Facebook and Twitter suppressed a New York Post story about emails allegedly obtained from Hunter Biden's laptop that were politically damaging to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Several GOP senators assailed Big Tech companies for censoring conservative speech, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) taking particular aim at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for locking the New York Post out of its account.

Markey was joined by other Democrats in dismissing the accusations of bias thrown at the Silicon Valley bosses, claiming Republicans and President Trump wanted to prevent online platforms from cracking down on misinformation to win the election next week.

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