House Hearing Targets Social Media's Role in Online Extremism

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Architect of the Capitol)

The House Consumer Protection Subcommittee is looking into social media's role in spreading hate and violence.

Big Tech has come under fire in Washington for not sufficiently policing its content.

The hearing, “Mainstreaming Extremism: Social Media’s Role in Radicalizing America," will be held Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. via Cisco Webex video conference. 

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No witnesses have been announced, but if they are from social media companies they should expect to get a grilling if the the joint statement on the meeting by Subcommittee chair Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and parent Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) is any indication.

“Extremist online content is rapidly rising, and this extremism doesn’t just stay in the shadowy corners of the Internet – it often spreads hate and violence within our own communities,” they said in announcing the hearing. “Tragically, social media companies have consistently failed to use the tools at their disposal to mitigate this problem. That their algorithms promote extremist content in the interest of growth and advertising revenue is deeply problematic, and that most of them continue to ignore the call for meaningful action is downright reckless. We look forward to hearing from our witnesses and learning what more Congress can do to battle this growing problem.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.