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US: Sessions’ concerned social media firms “stifle” free speech

 |  September 6, 2018

The US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has expressed a “growing concern” that social media companies may be “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas” on their platforms, the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed on Wednesday, September 5.

A statement issued through spokesman Devin O’Malley said the DOJ monitored a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg on the use of social media by foreign adversaries to spread misinformation.

“The attorney general has convened a meeting with a number of state attorneys general this month to discuss a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms,” read the statement. An official confirmed that the statement means a meeting has been scheduled for some time in September.

The majority of Americans believe social media platforms censor political views they don’t agree with, according to Pew Research Center. Some 43% of people think tech companies favor liberal over conservative viewpoints and 72% think it’s likely that social media companies intentionally censor political viewpoints they find objectionable. These views are more strongly held by Republicans, with 64% saying tech companies favor liberal views and 85% saying social media sites censor political viewpoints.

Full Content: The GuardianWashington Examiner

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