WASHINGTON : US lawmakers, tech CEOs clashed over disinformation. The US lawmakers unleashed a torrent of criticism against social media top executives at a Capitol hearing on Thursday, blaming the companies for amplifying false content and calls to violence, while promising new regulations to stem rampant online disinformation.

The hearing featuring the top executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter, the latest in a series of events examining the policies of tech platforms, got off to a stormy start as lawmakers rejected the claims by the CEOs on their efforts to keep off harmful content.

''It's now painfully clear that neither the market, nor public pressure, will enforce the social media companies to take the aggressive action they need to take to eliminate disinformation and extremism from their platforms and therefore it's time for Congress and this committee to legislate,'' said Representative Frank Pallone, chairman of the House of Representatives panel holding the hearing.

''Rather than limit the spread of this information, Facebook, Google and Twitter have created business models that exploit the human brain preference for divisive content to get Americans hooked on their platforms at the expense of the public interest.''

The tech CEOs said they were doing their best to keep out harmful content. ''We believe in free expression, we believe in free debate and conversation to find the truth,'' Dorsey said.

Zuckerberg said dealing with false harmful content is a complex challenge. [AFP]


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