United States House Representative Ted Lieu called the legislative body's Tuesday hearing with social media companies "stupid," asserting the government has no jurisdiction over any content posted on private digital platforms, so long as the thereof isn't illegal. "There's this thing called the First Amendment; we can't regulate content. The only thing worse than an Alex Jones video is the government trying to tell Google not to do it, to prevent people from watching [the video]," the 49-year-old Representative for California's 33rd congressional district said.
The Democrat didn't mince words while explaining what he believes are more important issues in the country over which stateside lawmakers have jurisdiction, having pointed to President Trump's controversial stance on Russia and the current administration's child separation policy enforced at the borders as two such subjects that the House isn't holding any hearings about. During the same happening, a number of Republican representatives questioned Facebook, Google's YouTube, and Twitter about their content blocking practices, having alleged the Silicon Valley has a liberal bias while deciding what's allowed on its platforms, a notion that all three vehemently denied.
Some lawmakers also suggested the possibility of regulating social media in the same vein non-utilities such as hotels are supervised, i.e. hold them accountable for the manner in which their clients use their services to a certain degree. The talking points brought up by YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook's representatives during the hearing have already been circulated in Washington since last year, with the Tuesday event ultimately yielding no new information or promises. The issue of fake news was also brought up, though the Internet giants are still signaling they'll never be able to fully root out the problematic phenomenon, even though their efforts to combat it are becoming more aggressive. Following the emergence of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the first two waves of indictments against Russian individuals and companies meddling in the 2016 presidential election issued by special counsel Robert Mueller, American legislators are expected to continue exploring ways in which they could regulate the Silicon Valley moving forward.