The Senate hearing will have a narrower, more policy-centric scope than other recent high profile tech hearings, focusing specifically on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That short law might sound obscure, but it’s the key legal shield that protects internet companies from liability for the user-generated content they host, from Facebook posts and tweets to Yelp reviews and comments sections.
Recent big tech hearings have meandered, seldom forcing the leaders of some of the world’s most powerful companies into revealing much. But the cumulative pressure of federal antitrust action, a high-stakes election less than a week away and a number of legislative proposals that could dismantle the law that made their businesses possible will likely set a different tone — and hopefully offer more substance.
You can follow a livestream of the hearing here (above) starting at 10:00 AM ET on Wednesday, October 28. We’ll be following the testimony and all things Section 230, so check back for our coverage of the day’s key takeaways.