The Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, jumped into the heads of some of the country’s largest tech companies on Wednesday – blaming the leaders of Google, Facebook and other tech giants as “to get conservative. “
Speaking at a remote House Judiciary subcommittee meeting on antitrust law, Jordan deleted a list of cases where large technology and social media companies have either censored or removed posts from lawmakers. conservatives or thinkers before expressing their concern about the role of technology in the upcoming election in November.
“I’m going to cut well for the chase,” Jordan said. “Big tech is out to get conservative …. That̵7;s a fact.”
Jordan has focused much of its ire on Twittter – whose leader was not present for the hearing – after the company “banned the shadow” in its 2018 account. The company told Jordan it was a glitch in its algorithm that caused it to be blocked.
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“If I had nickel for every time I heard it was just a glitch, I wouldn’t be as rich as our witnesses, but I would be fine,” Jordan said.
Jordan’s comments, which came out during the opening statements, marked the beginning of the grilling that the four Big Tech CEOs – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Pichai’s Sundar ‘Google and Apple’s Tim Cook – took over the hearing from lawmakers in both Democrats and Republicans. .
The four technology CEOs command corporations with gold-plated brands, millions or even billions of customers, and greater combined value than the entire German economy. One of them, Bezos, is the richest individual in the world; Zuckerberg is the fourth billionaire by grade.
Critics doubt whether companies stifle competition and innovation, raise prices for consumers and pose a danger to society.
In its bipartisan investigation, the Judiciary subcommittee gathered evidence from middle-level executives of the four firms, competitors and legal experts, and retained more than a million internal documents from companies. A key question: whether existing competition policies and centuries-old antitrust laws are adequate to oversee the technology giants, or whether new legislation and enforcement funding is needed.
The chairman of the subcommittee Rep. David Cicilline, DR.I., called the monopolies of the four companies, although he said breaking them should be a last-ditch effort. While forced breakup may seem unlikely, Big Tech’s wide scrutiny indicates possible new restrictions on its health.
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“Simply put, they have too much power,” Cicilline said during opening remarks Wednesday, citing data indicating the strength of the four technology companies as essential levers of trade and communications.
He also said that after the coronavirus pandemic, “these giants stand to profit” and become even stronger as millions further change their jobs and online business.
Companies face legal and political offensives on multiplier fronts, from Congress, the Trump administration, federal and state regulators and European watchdogs. The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are investigating the practices of the four companies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.