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tv   Varney Company  FOX Business  October 28, 2020 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

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trend, the stock is up five and half percent. market is at the low the morning, 30 minutes before the opening down 625 points. thanks to date in and james freeman. have a great day. stuart, it looks like it could be a tough day at the office with a 600 plus point cell as the one that's putting it mildly. morning. two news item set the stage for what's happening to your money right now. europe turns to severe restrictions. america reports a record half-million new virus cases in the past week. what they are doing over there and what we might do over here, that's what's hurting your 4o1k again. the dow jones off at one-- 900 points in monday's tuesday session in this wednesday morning another selloff. looking at a loss of about 600 points from the dow industrials the snp on the downside. it is a selloff this wednesday morning.
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here's the next major story, in one hour at that top executives of facebook, twitter and google will be grilled on their alleged political bias. these are the big stars or technology, zucker burke, dorsey, nancy pelosi, the main issue, should social networks be liable for what they carry on their site? at the moment they are not. you will see it unfold right here. six days until the election, the final sprint and president trump heads to arizona today holding two rallies and joe biden stays in wilmington, delaware. we understand he will quote make remarks. no details yet. the two campaigns appeared to be set in stone, the president out and about speaking to crowds and joe biden stays home and limits appearances. pennsylvania a key state that could decide the election. overnight looted in philadelphia and it was all on my tv. will this affect the pennsylvania vote?
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in a statement the biden campaign said lou dean is not a protest, it's a crime and to the white house had the rights in philadelphia are the most recent consequence on the war on the police. obviously a big day in money and politics and we have it all for you. "varney & co." is about to begin. stuart: let's get right to it. first big story of the day. in one hour the ceo of facebook, twitter and google testify before the senate commerce committee. susan has the preview. susan: all three social media ceos will probably take heat from both sides of the aisle. all three will argue changing internet laws will ultimately hurt consumers and users. they have released opening statements. mark zuckerberg will argue liability laws should be updated and changes should not stifle expression or
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impede innovation. twitters that-- jack dorsey said it would collapse how we communicate on the internet and twitter makes decisions without political bias. google sundar pichai said there's no political bias and calls for protection of free access to information. ahead of this morning's hearing the doj sent a letter to capitol hill leaders arguing the online platforms should be held accountable when they are not honest and transparent while using powers and the problem is there is an a lot of consensus from politicians on both sides of the aisle on what to do about it. stuart: i know we will hear a lot about this section 230. can you give me a brief explanation? susan: section 230, 1996 communications act and says a computer service cannot be treated as a publisher or speaker of third-party content, first amendment rights meaning
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they can't be held liable for what users post. both president trump and even joe biden have floated the idea of revoking section 230. these are private companies that can create rules if they choose to for instance hate speech. regulators have to decide if they are media company, utility or private internet companies providing their own platform. stuart: they aren't going to do a prop walk. susan: virtual. stuart: so you won't have them lined up. i was waiting for that. we have to talk about microsoft's. we were saying yesterday , we were discussing the earnings report that came out last night and we were saying it's about the cloud, about gaming and video conferencing. susan: the cloud computing unit is growing even faster than anticipated expanding 48% from last quarter. gaming is a surging jumping 30% in sales with next-generation
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xbox said to be released next month and 115 million daily active users up from the 75 million at the end of april so overall a fantastic quarter for microsoft and we kind of knew that. it with the guidance that fell short of microsoft putting estimates wider than forecast, but analysts are still bullish on the stock. 249, paper, and 245. stuart: they did well across the board. susan: they did. stuart: down $6. susan: expectations are already high just about where people expect you to do is enough. stuart: i want to see how the close today. the virus, that's what's having the biggest impact on the stocks at this moment. that's my opinion, by the way. overnight several european governments imposed new restrictions and the worry and we in america will do the same thing let's start with this, ashley, how big of
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a jump in new cases is europe's seeing? ashley: quite significant. covid death rate in europe has risen by 40% in just the last week. in france, the government is discussing stricter measures including extending curfews already in place in paris and other cities. yesterday the country reported more than 33000 new cases and 523 deaths , that is the highest daily death toll since april. is very worrying. in italy people reacting angrily again for the 60 enclosures pick restaurants, bars and cinemas with protest returning violent and a number of italian cities belgium has seen an 88% rise in hospital admissions with officials warning half of the intensive care beds are filled. doctors in belgium have been asked to keep working even if they have the virus i'm a
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bunch of no symptoms. slovakia will begin testing its entire population from this we can to try to avoid harsher antivirus measures. and the czech republic is set to extend a state of emergency and keep schools closed after setting a daily record for new cases. pretty grim news out of europe. in the us since october began, 29 states have reported at least one daily record of the new cases and 11 states have reported their highest single day of new deaths yesterday, 73240 new cases were reported across the country following a record peak of 83000 last friday. seven weeks ago, the average number of new cases in the us was 35000. that gives you some perspective. stuart: it certainly does. thank you. futures showing a significant decline this morning down 600 on the dow industrials.
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are we selling off because america may be stampeded into new restrictions just as europe is doing now? >> yes, i think that is part of it, stuart. it's almost a perfect storm. as we see spikes across 29 states and some are dramatic, the prospect of the us closing down cities and towns etc. is the same thing europe is experiencing is a problem for investors because it's happening at the same time that the polls show the lead joe biden had against president trump diminishing to practically nothing which could be a contested election and that will probably happen in the face of there's no stimulus so the prospect of stimulus coming anytime soon has evaporated. at the same time as what's happening with the covid spike is creating something of a perfect storm making nervous investors increasingly nervous and i think that is the selloff we see this morning.
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stuart: on monday and tuesday, the dow jones was down 870-point and this morning it looks like it will open with another 600 on the downside. is at the start of something really big, not just three or four day hiccup kind of selloff, but something really big? >> it's possible because investors are increasingly nervous. there is really no near future cure for the covid. treatments have gotten better. vaccines are out there, but nothing is approved. again, this perfect storm with the election coming up tuesday, here we have the prospect of it being contested, no stimulus and if it's contested there won't be any stimulus and that a double dip recession as investors are worried about that. at the same time with a important morning because the dow jones industrial has a some support at 26600, which is the september low. we would like to see the dow jones hold.
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if it gets below there i think investors will single-- a signal to take further profit. stuart: we will be watching that. thank you for joining us we have another foxbusiness alert. a second night of rights in philadelphia. police shot and killed a black man armed with a knife and a thousand looters trashed and ransacked businesses across the city. here you see just some of what happened and it was on live tv. looters carrying away dozens of tvs and even christmas tree skirt i think we got it right, yeah, there we go someone wheeling away polishing machine on a dolly last night. authorities investigating the death of walter wallace junior , he did have a criminal history of police say they ordered him to drop the knife and he continued moving forward. policing the two officers involved did not have tasers at the time. we are weak from the election. are those riots you can see right now occurred in a key swing state, pennsylvania, will that
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affect the vote in pennsylvania? we will ask that question. future still show a major decline this wednesday morning down 600 on the dow jones and nearly 200 on the nasdaq big tech chee's virtually before the senate. we will bring you that live when it happens and president trump is headed to arizona holding two rallies today. joe biden has no interest events planned. just getting started this wednesday morning. keep it here on "varney & co.". in an exclusive interview with tucker carlson, hunter biden's -- >> i'm only sitting here because not only have they knock on record, they have denied it and hard my family name with a long history of serving this country. derriere discomfort.
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>> i know joe decided not to run in 2016, but what if he ran in the future? aren't they taking political risk? i remember looking at jim biden saying how are you getting away with this like arch you concerned and he looked at me and laughed a little bit and said, plausible deniability. stuart: hunter biden, joe biden, china money scandal blew wide open last night as chucker-- tucker biden interview tony bobulinski. joe biden said he never discussed his a son business dealing with him or anyone else. here is bobulinski on that. >> when he states that, that's a blatant lie. obviously, the world is aware i attended the debate last thursday and in that debate he made a specific statement around questions around
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this from the president and i will be honest with you, i almost stood up and screamed a liar and walked out because i was shocked that after four or five days up this that the biden family is taking a position to the world. stuart: as we said the story is blown wide open. joe biden should be asked, do you know bobulinski, have you ever met him. don't hold your breath. there's a zero coverage of bobulinski's statement in the mainstream media this morning and joe biden with his basement strategy has avoided work-- avoided questions. is get back to your money with a big day for money in politics. futures show down 600 for the dow and nearly 200 for the nasdaq. of this started with the european markets. susan: we are looking at five-month lows across the atlantic and dragging the rest of the global markets including here on wall street. in germany leading the way down last night
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after england imposed a month-long shutdown of bars and restaurants. here the s&p 500 down about 5% from record highs. you have nervous investors, rising covid cases, no stimulus, election uncertainty and the fear gauge, the highest in four months since june. this kind of says it all as we closing at 37. government bonds are also bought as well. people tend to run to the safety of us treasuries. we have lost 10 basis points in one week, that's a big move it down in oil prices down $38, about 4%. this is a typical risk off trade we see. stuart: we are starting some restrictions with curfews in newark, new jersey. i have a long list of restrictions starting here. that is the worry on wall street that the restrictions come here. i want to bring in john orlovsky, economist sky.
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we are looking at what, a 35% growth in the third quarter, that's great, but if we locked down and restrict here like they are doing in europe, that will slow down. >> sorry. hello? stuart: i don't know if you heard me or not. john, can you hear me okay? >> i can hear you now. real gdp growth coming in, 32%. let's not forget, however, it was only a couple of months ago that the consensus view of economists was that third-quarter real gdp would grow by something less than 20%, so let's not become too quick to follow the gloom and doom that's suggested by some of these soothsayers of business activity as to what might happen if we don't
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get physical stimulus on time. stuart: i don't know if you can hear me are not. >> if they continue to do so. stuart: we have an audio problems so i will move on. sorry, john. i can't quite hear you properly. in our continuing coverage of the real estate market, which is doing very well with prices rising, sales rising, all good stuff, let's get a read on mortgage applications. with the latest number, lauren? lauren: they are rising, up 24% annually and homeowners continue to kate take advantage of low rates. refinance up 3% on the week, 80% on the urine as you noted you have a record home prices as they keep rising because it set a record low. if you look at the average purchase loan size, that hit an all-time high of over $372,000.
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stuart: thank you. i went to get to the price of oil. can we get that up on the screen, please? that's another negative indicator down .5.6%, that's a big drop in its down because maybe the market is anticipating more restrictions on economic activity. pushing price of oil down. anything on that? lauren: during monday's selloff we were down 1000 points at the bottom the denise bargain hunters coming in by the dip. if we see that today would be encouraging as an investor? stuart: you are asking me? lauren: that said tale tell sign stuart: look i mean people are looking to buy the dip and if that happens today i think that's positive. lauren: i agree. stuart: as he says if you have the doubt drop below 26600 and stays below that it's a big negative. now, we are down 634 on the dow jones oil $37 a
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barrel. overall, 600 down for the dow jones and s&p down 2% and nasdaq down 1.6%. we will be back with more after this (vo) i'm a verizon engineer and today, we're turning on 5g across the country. with the coverage of 5g nationwide. and, in more and more cities,
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minutes when the markets open, so let's bring in mark, strategic wealth of partner. this is quite a selloff. gives some advice to our viewers. our viewers probably aren't traitors. they probably aren't into robin hood kind of stuff. they have a portfolio and want to know what to do in a selloff like this. what is your advice claimant first of all, don't panic. in my opinion there are four reasons the market is selling off, covid flareups, the possibility of smart locked as especially if biden wins and no one likes to be locked in their house except for maybe by dan. the third thing is, volatility is spiking right now that's a sign the market actually has a perception of a much tighter presidential race than most people expect. i think biden had a huge lead about a month ago, but this election will be close and there's no catalyst to take the market higher. it's a really risen this year off the backs of stimulus, so called
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down. people are just a little uncertain now and once we get past the election i think things will be better in the market should resume. stuart: every time in the past couple of years when we have had a nasty selloff like this, if you bought the dip especially if you bought big tech you ended up doing very well. would you advise anyone to buy the dip, big-- big tech dip today? >> i would. we actually have the five biggest companies in the s&p 500 reporting this week took microsoft tuesday, apple, amazon, google and facebook all reporting tomorrow. they have all done very well. they have not been negatively impacted by this pandemic. that has been a place where your money has one for you. continue to buy those stocks. we are slightly underweight with them. we have been selling those stocks on the way up. that's really been a 2020 story with these
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big tech stocks and as you look into 2021 believe it or not, i think you will see better value if you're willing to look at smaller companies. stuart: explained one more time, please place this volatility is a sign that the market expects a closer election? >> so i think biden prima chatted in the bad i think it was a lock about a month ago that biden was going to win. i think the probability was like 65%. right now, it's head to head, nose to nose, very close and if you look at some of the other polling systems out there, they actually have president trump winning this thing. it's all comes down to differing methodologies. some polls it takes 30 minutes for someone to complete a poll i don't know about you, stuart, i have never been pulled , but if i had to
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spend 30 minutes on the phone with someone, i would hang up. some of the other ones where it's seven questions people are giving a different story so i think it will be closer than people's sync. stuart: thank you for jumping in this morning. it will be a huge day, huge. we have stopped using that word these days. thank you for joining us. we are running up to the opening bell with about 50 seconds to go. we know there will be a lot of red ink as the bell sounds and we start to trade. here are the factors, one thing we should bear in mind as we have big tech hearings coming up at 10:00 a.m. i don't think that will affect the overall market, susan. susan: let's see what they say because they have the liability protection hearing so let's see what zetterberg or sundar pichai is asked. of the stocks have done very well this year and if you will get some of the proposed-- performance, it up pretty much across the
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board and by the way it's the liability protection hearing and another one two weeks after the election. i would say all three stocks are intact so far. stuart: interesting. hearings at the start at 10:00 a.m. we will see how that affects the markets. we just open. we are off and running. down to see a lot of red ink and we are. right from the start down 540 points, 2%, down 2% on the dow jones. s&p is down 1.7%. nasdaq, all the big techs are there, down 1.7%. the dow jones is taking it on the chin more than the nasdaq or snp. we do have earnings, got a big day today. we have seen some already i think. ashley, do you have those? ashley: ups-- well, as you
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imagine thanks to the massive surge in home deliveries ups delivered with nice profits in the third quarter with revenue rising to $21.24 billion. average daily volumes in the us rose to 13.8% thanks to continued strength in the residential demand. the company says is that strong demand continuing asia as well as growth from small and medium-size businesses. ups said it will hire more than 100,000 workers for the holiday season which retailers across our stretching out to try to avoid overwhelming the delivery networks. stuart: fascinating to the possibility of more restrictions , better use of delivery services and ups has a great report and they are down $8, 5% pure we were looking for winners and i thought ups would be one. i found one, general electric. what you have on them?
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ashley: up nearly 6%. ge reported stronger than forecast revenue in a surprise adjusted profit. yes, the results were weaker in the same quarter last year, but they were up better than wall street analysts expected with revenue in at $19.42 billion while earnings were 6 cents per share better than the forecast of the 4-cent loss. as you imagine the aviation unit of ge continues to struggle 539% year-over-year but was upset a little by gains in the renewable energy and power segments. ge on a day when the dow jones is all 550 points. stuart: that was your grandfather's a stock and it's not bad today. i want to go back to microsoft because what i thought was a good earnings report but this morning they are down close to my 3%. susan: it was a fantastic quarter by all estimates, but in
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this price to perfection market you have to do better with microsoft making more money from cloud than their traditional windows operating system. it's a sign of the times as you set up more business contracts growing your 50% in the three months with the gaming stuck at home playing video games. xbox coming out next month. 150 million daily users about it over 30 million in six months for microsoft and analysts remain bullish. stuart: that's unusual. great report. analysts are calling for higher stock price and that thing is down. susan: guidance was we cannot typically happens when stocks rally so much heading into the report card. stuart: dow jones stopped below 27000. let's see if this has influence on the market. influential hedge fund manager has a warning about a potential blue
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wave. about would-be democrat takeover the white house and senate in the house. susan: he says it's a long-term drag on stocks and when he speaks people tend to listen to he says if the democrats sweep the election, hike taxes and spend it big that will blow out inflation and depress stocks in the coming years because in order to afford the spending you have to borrow so much money and he skeptical stocks will return any money and three to five years. some stocks will perform better with a vaccine. technology will lose steam. bond yields will be higher with inflation and jobless rate around a 7%. stuart: he's not predicting a blue wave, he's just saying watch out. susan: he is saying it's bad for the market kind of like what you have been saying. stuart: i don't think this market would survive well in a blue wave. hopefully, we don't get
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it. boeing preparing for a long travel slumped down 1%. tell me more, ashley. ashley: pretty grim outlook from the wing. said it will cut thousands of additional jobs through the end of next year as it prepares for weaker aircraft demand for what it says is years to come because of the pandemic. company also saying it believes normal airline passenger traffic won't return it to normal for another three years. boeing is still waiting for the green light to get the 737 max back in the air. in the meantime, the company says commercial airplane delivery fell 55% in the most recent quarter to 28. in the third quarter the company's revenue fell 29%. that did beat estimates, but the company is still struggling as the virus in the plunge and air travel hurts demand for new aircraft. the company began a massive it job shedding campaign earlier this year and said it expects to cut 19000 jobs by
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year end and also reported a loss of a dollar 39 a share, smaller than expected. it does mean boeing has reported four straight quarters of losses. it's been a tough tough road to hoe for boeing over the last year. stuart: here's another one, government just struck a deal to buy antibody drugs from lily. when will they be ready? ashley: as soon as they get approval like us is the answer. antibody therapeutics being developed by eli lilly still evaluated in phase three clinical trials. the antibodies used in the drug were identified from blood samples taken from one of the first us patients were actually recovered from the virus. the trump administration will pay $375 million for initial purchase of 300,000 doses over the next two months with the
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potential for another 650,000 doses. the iv infusion drug is being reviewed by the fda as a possible treatment for covid-19 outpatient and if it wins approval of the government will send those doses to state health departments. it's showing a lot of promise, but needs to get the final approval. eli lilly says we could have a million doses ready to go by the end of the year. stuart: thank you. i wonder if there has been some dip buying. we were down 600 earlier and now, we are down 500. maybe i'm grasping at straws. 26, nine is the level on the dow. how about the 10 year treasury yield? .75%. as we noted earlier's last week we were looking at .85%, so money is going and to the 10 year treasury and going out of stocks roughly speaking. after the price of gold, why is it down, lauren?
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lauren: this is the safe haven and you'd expected to rise on a day like today. is also an inflation had but with lockdowns in europe and possibly here in the us, where is the inflation, so it's down today. strategists say if locked down becomes the norm it's going down to make 1800. stuart: down 30 today. thank you. six days to go until the election and president trump will hold two rallies in arizona today. joe biden has an empty schedule. you are taking a live look at capitol hill. in a few minutes the seal of facebook, twitter, google will testify and we will bring it to you live coming up businesses today are looking to tomorrow.
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stuart: on a generally down day, week on what i thought would be two winners. they were winning earlier and now they are
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not. zoom it down 11, netflix down 49 cents. i thought they would be winners because with more restrictions coming you'd expect people to take more zoom meetings and watch more netflix. both dow stocks are down. everything else is down as well. mark grant, the man himself this year. mark, how do you handle this? if you are an investor how do you handle the market where the down is down 870 points monday and tuesday and another 450 now? >> stuart, as you know as you get my commentary and i think the biggest favor i could do for your viewers, i have been saying for the last month, take some prophet , have additional catch, hedge up your portfolio, take profits in equities for sure and may be in the bond portfolio if you have bonds to protect yourself. i don't think it's going
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to get any better between now and election day. i also expect the election to be challenged legally in a number of states and i think this is going to be a difficult time, have cash and wait and see what happens after the election before you reenter is my advice. stuart: how big of a factor is the possibility of the further restrictions on economic activity here? is that a big factor in today's selloff in the weeks of volatility? >> two big factors of the election steward and also the virus which seems to be getting worse in a number of states and then the governor, of course, could lock down some states more in the mayors. i think between the two there so much uncertainty and so much fear even that i think key is to have additional cash. hedge up your portfolios and be very cautious. it's not the time for bravery or to make
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differential calls that's my opinion. stuart: would we be right in saying money is going into 10 year treasury security-- 10 year treasury bond, whatever you want to call them because the yield has come down and i presume money is flowing in and i presume is flowing out of stocks. my real question is, what happens to interest rates in the future? can you see the yield on the 10 year treasury going down and down and down? >> stuart, we heard chairman powell say-- these are the people that make the money. you cannot argue with them. there is the old phrase when i was growing up or you were growing up, don't fight city hall in this is far past city hall. these people make the money. they have a little overcurrent-- seven children in assets. they could expand it to 10 million to hold interest rates down. i think interest rates
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will be low, may be lower than here in the .5% range would not surprise me. i just think it's a time to be very cautious and i don't see any kind of inflation at all, so i see nothing that will drive interest rates higher right now. stuart: market, we are glad to have you on the show. i'm not going to say it was pessimistic. it was cautious and we take heed from mark. thank you. >> thank you. stuart: we have red ink across the board, but look at bitcoin, down $435, that's 3%. earlier, it had been close to my $14000 a point. when was the last time that? susan: highest since 2017 during that bitcoin mania when the prices crossed 20000 in december, of that year and is now the modern way to diversify. if you think about it
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13000 is a long way higher than below 10000 over lots of the past three years. stuart: i'm surprised to see it come down so much today. susan: pretty volatile. stuart: it's been considered a source of safety. susan: gold is down also so i think it's money out of all assets of classes, but bitcoin has really risen in the last few weeks. paypal now accepting bitcoin. not just paypal, you have robin hood, mainstream platforms that now accept bitcoin. we are going back up to the 20000 bitcoin levels and also can we check out the markets. we are to dip below 400-point loss, i mean, that's a recovery from over six arm points down in the opening minutes so there's bargain-hunting taking place and we know there is a ton of cash on the sidelines especially into the election less than a week away. i would say it is encouraging if we finish somewhere closer to 1%
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down, that's not a terrible day. stuart: i agree entirely. we are back above the 27000 level. okay. we have opened up the market with a 17 minutes in, a lot of red ink, but it ain't as bad as it was 17 minutes ago. jetblue revenue plunged 76% in the third quarter my question is, what happens if there's another shutdown or more restrictions on travel in america. we have the ceo, robin hayes will join us in the 11:00 a.m. hour, ceo of jetblue. moments away from the big tech hearing on capitol hill. zucker berg, dorsey, pichai will be testifying and we will bring it to you live.
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stuart: we were down 600 when we started trading and now, we are down 500 with the dow jones below 27000 and in the midst of this selling them by the way the selling is largely because the virus has hit europe with a second wave in the air carrying out restrictions over there and the worry is we will have restrictions here because the number of new cases hitting a half-million in the last week, a
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record high. with a data mining, most stocks are down, but some are up. tupperware, for example, up 29%. ge just reported up at 9%. adp up 8%. bungee, a seed company does well in lockdowns and most interesting chiefly, they are introducing-- susan: telehealth for pet services. telehealth services for human has done well during the pandemic. we do have the dow jones losses, recovering a bit , but the nasdaq has accelerated their losses and now down to and have%. the money is coming out of technology with more blue-chip dow traditionalists. stuart: let's get-- let's talk more about the hearing starting at 10:00 a.m. edward lawrence in dc. what will it look like?
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>> this is one reason may be tech is under pressure as susan mentioned. opening statements for this hearing in front of the commerce committee in less than 10 minutes and arguably the three most powerful committees on the planet will be represented in front of the senate commerce committee. this isn't a voluntary appearance. ceos of twitter, facebook and alphabet turned down the invitation so the committee used it's a subpoena power. ceos will testify virtually to the chairman of the senate commerce committee said there will be no love from either side for big tech. listen. >> if you control the flow of news, if you control the flow of information, you are indeed powerful and so i think their concerns from the public and democrats about the power of these big tech companies. >> democrats will focus questions on privacy and antitrust issues. some democrats on the
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committee advocate breaking up the big tech companies. because of the recent censorship taking place republican senator josh holly says he and some others will not stand in the way of democrats call to break up big tech. republicans on the committee will ask about privacy and also set your ship of stories that could hurt palmer vice president joe biden. both president trump and former vice president joe biden one section 230 of the communications act repealed and to repeal or change it will be discussed today and also specific questions about the "new york post" story which was blocked because they were allegedly unverified. stuart: thank you and in advance of them he appearing at the hearing facebook is down 3.8%, twitter down 5% and google on the downside as well. we will take you to those hearings after this.
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stuart: almost 10:00 here in new york and the market is clearly una great deal of pressure today. i will give you the state of play. we've got rising virus cases here in america. we've got more lockdowns in europe. investors do not like this, because, many investors believe that the lockdowns over this will come over here and affect our economic recovery and therefore the market. we're down over 2% on the dow right now. facebook's mark zuckerberg, google's sundar pichai and twitter's jack dorsey, they will testify before the senate
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commerce committee today, literally moments from now. they will be grilled on their alleged political bias. here is what i got to say about that. the social networks always told us they are neutral. they put out user generated material but they are not neutral as seen in the suppression of the "new york post" hunter biden story. now they have to defend themselves. under scrutiny is the thing called section 230 which makes them immune to liability lawsuits should section 230 be abolished or modified? that is a lot what they will be discussing today. i want to bring in liz peek and totally change the subject for a moment. i think the market is worried about lockdown joe. we have lock down in europe. we have a record number of new cases here in the united states. i think this market is worried stiff that is what we'll get here, more lockdowns. what say you? >> i think you're right, stuart. that is clearly what is on
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investors mind because only recently we saw the number of cases going down, the number of hospitalizations going down. i think investors should take a step back and recognize that yes, certainly number of cases is up, in some states the number of hospitalizations is also rising. thankfully we've seen very little movement in fatalities which of course lag those other indicators. so my hope is that this vaccine which has been long promised, which apparently will be available in the next several weeks really put as lid on what kind of lockdowns we might entertain here in the united states and in fact in europe what you're seeing, stuart, is rioting in some of the places where the authorities want to shut down businesses again. people won't stand for it. i'm pretty sure people won't stand for it in the united states either. stuart: i would agree with that. there is something called virus
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fatigue, lockdown fatigue. >> yeah. stuart: this is the united states of america and this is a very different country from europe, i can tell you that for a fact. people hunker more down and agree with the government in europe. they are collectivists essentially. but this is the united states. we're guaranteed our individual liberty by the constitution. we don't react well when somebody tells us to stay at home for months on end. i digress. tell me what is your latest on the election itself? >> well, i think the polls are narrowing. i think there is a very strong, concerted effort on the part of the liberal media to present this as a done deal. they talk a lot about how many people have voted early but what i can see from the early voting is that democrats are falling short in some states in terms of their own goals of how many democrats would come out and vote early. that doesn't mean necessarily that republicans are doing well in those states but it does appear that in some of those
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states the numbers aren't going quite the way the democrats wanted and florida is a good example of that but remember that the national polling where joe biden's lead is still about seven points it, was as high as 11 or 12 points, doesn't matter. it is really the battleground states and now he is under four points ahead on an average of polls in average of the states. so that is a little bit tangled numbers but reality is, i think we're seeing donald trump out there making his case, rally, of a rally, just as he did in 2016. there is a lot of momentum i think in the trump campaign and joe biden, i think is seeing that in polls. that's why he is out and about as well but my gosh, the difference in these events being hosted by democrats versus republicans is almost laughable. joe biden, if he gets 200 people, the press pool goes crazy. they have to come back and revise later as they have done
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on a couple of occasions, no, really only 180. it is pretty funny, honestly. but, look, i think we have a few days ahead. i think the tech hearings will give republicans in the senate a chance to really blast social media about this hunter biden, joe biden story. stuart: i think you're right. >> also means the story gets to more people. stuart: liz peek, thanks for joining us. i will get to the hearing in just one second. liz, many thanks indeed. i want to point this out to everybody, we have no buying the dip of big tech. nasdaq continues to go way, way down. nasdaq down two 1/2%. greater percentage lose than the dow industrials. i see no buying for example, of microsoft. that is down seven bucks. amazon down 80. twitter is down two. in percentage terms, to help you out there, susan. susan: that was very good,
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despite the fact that microsoft had a great quarter earnings. crowd did well. stuart: yep, way down. let's get back to the hearings, bring in "wall street journal" editorial board guy james freeman. these hearings are all about political censorship. i want to hear more from the politicians about why twitter and the rest of them sat on the "new york post" story. why are they stopping us reading about the scandal of monumental proportions six days before the election? >> yeah. i think it's a great disservice to the public and to their uses. it also clearly is an act of editorial discretion. you are talking about section 230 which is getting a lot of attention. this is not activity protected by that law. when a social media company decides they don't like the "new york post" or they don't like the facts that they're reporting or they rather protect
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joe biden and discourage donald trump, they are acting as a publisher. they are not acting as a neutral network like a phone company. they are acting as an editor of information and their protection should disappear. i think judges have overinterpreted the protection in this law. so a big part of the solution could be that wonderful person starting your new job today, amy coney barrett who thinks the law needs to be interpreted as written. i think she has got an ally in clarence thomas and perhaps others on the supreme court that say the law is the law and you don't get protections beyond it. stuart: real fast though, james, you don't want to, coin a phrase, you don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water because if you chuck out section 230. >> right. stuart: that makes an enormous difference and what you, i, everybody else can actually post on facebook, doesn't it?
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>> absolutely right. by the way, i'm sorry, i guess she started her job yesterday. you're exactly right. the goal here is not to insure that our world leading technology industry is destroyed. our goal is not to destroy all social media so that consumers can't have it. so the answer to this problem cannot be, let's have trial lawyers plunder these silicon valley companies and that will make the world a better place. the answer has to be how do we allow this free speech, how do we stop this kind of abuse of customers and how do we allow the news to circulate and information to circulate. stuart: yeah. >> but, have a reasonable protection which is what that law was intended to do. i think that is what the language does. unless, objectionable means whatever twitter wants it to
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mean, i don't think they have as much protection as courts have given them to this point. stuart: i wonder what amy, justice amy coney barrett will judge because she is probably going to. james freeman, thank you very much indeed. >> thank you. stuart: sure thing. we are juggling major stories here. how many more restrictions will we have in the united states because the virus is in its second phase right here? what is going to happen with the hearings on capitol hill. three technology stars are kind of in the dock, and we got a whopping great big selloff on wall street. we're down 2.150%. we're down on nasdaq as well. let's bring in susan. in these hearings we got three companies, we got facebook, we got twitter, we got google. how are these affecting their stock prices. susan: the july antitrust hearings, we saw stock movement depending on what the leaders of these companies say.
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back in july jeff bezos he couldn't 100% they didn't strip some information from third party sellers to better make their own products you saw amazon's stock fall. this time around you have to parse through some of the testimony, some of the answers. we're going through opening statements right now but as you heard from james freeman there, this is about section 230, right. this is not antitrust this is not regulating business. this is all about political speech. how much impact will that ultimately have on the stock price? i with say less than what we saw in july. stuart: going into the hearings i have got facebook down, i got twitter down, i got google down. about in line with the overall market selloff. susan: yes. stuart: it is not really hurting them that much. the whole market is down. we're trying to find winners. we got some. yes we do, we got a few. there ain't many, folks we have a few. i will start with, is this you or me. susan: go through the winners. stuart: how about tupperware? and we see it?
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got it? yes, it is up 26%. i'm not aware of any special news on tupperware. are you? susan: that was pretty good, impressive, explosive stock movement there but i'm trying to get through, i think it has something to do with earnings. let me look at that for you. stuart: first solar, they are up 15%. that is a big gain. i presume something special to that stock. susan: tupperware that is 1 1/2-year high for the stock. yes, results did beat. wow, look at that stock today, up as much as 36% at its highs. 36%. stuart: that is huge. adp, they're up 7%, automated data processing. they do payroll in various companies. i have no idea why they are up. but they are up. who else do we have up? bunge, a company i know and like. they are seed makers. they are up 8%. chewy we spend a lot of
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medicine. telemedicine. susan: telehealth. stuart: telehealth. fill in my sentences. you have to do that with old people. go that going up. ge, not bad, up 9%. big tech hearing it is underway. right hand side of the screen. market on the left. that is what we're doing. right-hand side the hearings. left-hand side the market. we're following it all right here on "varney & company". worry follows you everywhere. over 100,000 people have left blood thinners behind with watchman. it's a one-time, minimally invasive procedure that reduces stroke risk-- and bleeding worry--for life. watchman. it's one time. for a lifetime. it's made for this guy
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stuart: congressman james comer from kentucky is with us. congressman, i want to talk about these hearings, big tech hearings. today it is not about breaking big tech up. it is not about changing the rules for them. it is about political censorship. so my question to you, is, do
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you want to see section 230 abolished or just modified? >> well i'm generally in the favor of business and i hope that today these tech ceos take this hearing very seriously because there is bipartisan support to do exactly what you mentioned, to reform section 230 of the communications decency act because big tech is clearly showed a bias towards censoring conservatives. what i think this hearing, the goal of this hearing is, is for members of the senate to determine what do they base their judgments on who to censor and what to sensor? i don't think they have been transparent with that, because these big tech companies enjoy a lot of companies wish they had, that is liability protection. so this is a serious hearing and there is bipartisan support. the democrats don't like big tech because they're big and successful, republicans don't like big tech because they have been clearly biased against
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conservatives. stuart: you don't want, i said this to james freeman a moment ago, you don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water, if you abolish 230 you hurt a lot of ordinary businesses and businesses who want to express themselves freely. it is a question of finding the right balance. do you have any idea what modifications you would like to see to section 230? >> anytime, you know this, stuart, anytime congress steps in to do reform they usually end up being a lot of unintended consequences and that's probably is what is going to happen if big tech doesn't become transparent all of sudden because they have been very quiet. they haven't been forthcoming with how they determine who or what to censor. it is overwhelmingly against donald trump and the conservatives and it's a big deal right before an election. stuart: yep. >> so i want to see a pro-business congress. i want to see a, less regulatory
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environment but big tech is making a lot of enemies on both sides of the aisle right now because of their practices. so you know, not only do they face the potential of reforming section 230, they also face the potential of democrats, if they are successful in the election of busting big tech up. and you know, i just don't think that is something that those of us who are pro-business want to see but at the same time, stuart, we have a lot of questions because they have clearly, they have clearly shown a bias against conservatives. the people in kentucky who i represent are very frustrated and we all know that a majority of americans now, for better or worse, are probably getting a big chunk of their information from social media. stuart: yes. i believe something like 70% of people get their news from their, facebook feed. i think it is enormous proportion like that. if they're controlling what we
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are allowed to see, that is direct interference in the political process. this, the elimination of the hunter biden scandal, they just suppressed it. the "new york post" report, they just totally suppressed it. that is election interference. you got to have something done about that. i don't know what you got to do about but you got to do something about that because they are skewing this election. last word to you, senator, congressman. >> i hope they're forthcoming because i don't have a lot of confidence that congress steps in regardless whether republican or democrat, they can pass something that is pro-business that doesn't have unintended consequences. they have made a lot of enemies, both sides of the aisle are fuming at big tech right now. so this committee hearing will have a big impact on the future of big tech. stuart: well-said. james comer, congressman. appreciate it. we'll take you to the hearings
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momentarily. mr. wicker, senator wicker, they're just introducing jack dorsey. when he starts you will hear, moments ago we were showing you the three stock prices on the screen, all of them down. here is i believe jack dorsey. >> thank you, members of the commerce committee for the opportunity to speak with the american people about twitter and section 230. my remarks will be brief so we can get to questions. section 230 is the most important law protecting internet speech. removing section 230 will remove speech from the internet. section 230 gave internet services two important tools, the first, provides immunity from liability for users content. the second, provides good samaritan protections for content moderation and removal, even of constitutionally protected speech as long as it is done in good faith. that concept of good faith is what is being challenged by many of you today. some of you don't trust we're
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acting in good faith. that is the problem i want to focus on solving. other services like twitter earn your trust. how do we insure more choice in the market if we don't? there are three solutions we would like to propose to address the concerns raised. all focused on services that decide to moderate or remove content. there could be expansions to section 230, new election frameworks or industrywide consolidated best practice. first requiring services moderation process to be published. our cases are reported and reviewed. how are decisions made. what tools are used to enforce. publishing answers to questions like these will make our process more robust and accountable to the people we serve. the second is requiring a straightforward process to appeal decisions made by humans or by algorithms. this insurance people can let us know when we don't get it right
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so we can fix any mistakes and make our processes better in the future. finally, much of the content people see today is determined by algorithms. very little visibility into how they choose what they show. we took a first step in making this more transparent by building a button to turn off home timeline algorithms. it's a good start but we're inspired by the market approach suggested by dr. steven wolfam before this committee in june 2019. enable people to choose algorithms by third parties to rank and filledter content is incredibly energizing idea that is in reach. requiring one moderation and practices to be published. two, a straightforward process to appeal decisions, and three, best efforts around algorithmic choice are suggestions to address concerns we all have going forward and they're all achievable in short order.
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it is critical as we consider solutions we optimize for startups and independent developers. doing so insures a level playing field that increases the possibility of competing ideas to help solve problems. we must isn't entrench the largest companies any further. thank you for the time. i look forward to a productive discussion to dig into these and other ideas. >> thank you very much, mr. dorsey. stuart: twitter. and i just want to paraphrase what he said. jack dorsey said, you can't erode the protections given under section 230 and if you do, it will collapse how we communicate on the internet. twitter, he says, does not make decisions without, it makes decisions without political bias. here is sundar pichai. >> radically improve access to information whether it is connected americans to jobs, getting critical updates to people in times of crisis, or
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helping a parent find answers to questions like how can i get my baby to sleep through the night. at the same time people everywhere can use their voices to share new power specktives, express themselves, and reach broader audiences than ever before. whether you're a barber in mississippi or a home renovate tore in indiana, you can share a video and build a global fan base and successful business right from your living room. in this way the internet has been one of the world's most important equalizers. information can be shared and knowledge can flow from anyone to anywhere. the same low values to entry also make it possible for bad actors to cause harm. as a company whose mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful google is deeply conscious of both the opportunities and risks the internet creates.
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i'm proud that google's information services like search, gmail, maps, photos provide thousands of dollars of year in value to the average american for free. we feel a deep responsibility to keep the people who use our products safe and secure and have long used innovative tools to prevent abuse of our services. when it comes to privacy we have committed to keeping your information safe, treating it response live and putting you in control. we continue to make privacy improvements like changes announced earlier this year to keep less data by default and support the creation of comprehensive federal privacy laws. we have equally committed to protecting the quality and ability of information on our platforms and supporting our democracy in a non-partisan way. just one timely example, our information panels on google and youtube inform users about where to go vote and how to register.
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we've also taken many steps to raise up high quality journalism from sending 24 billion visits to news websites globally every month to our recent one billion dollar investment in partnerships with news publishers. since our founding we have been deeply committed to the freedom of expression. we also feel a responsibility to protect people who use our products from harmful content and to be transparent in about how we do that. that is why we set and publicly disclose guidelines for our products and platforms which we enforce impartially. we recognize that people come to our services, as a broad spectrum of perspectives and we are dedicated to building products that are helpful to users of all backgrounds and viewpoints. let me be clear, we approach our work without political bias, full stop. to do otherwise would be contrary to both our business interests and our mission which
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make information accessible to every type of person no matter where they live or what they believe. of course our ability to provide access to a wide range of information is only possible because of existing legal frameworks like section 230. the united states and section 230 early in the internet's history and it has been foundational to u.s. leadership in the tech sector. it protects the freedom to create and share content while supporting the ability of platforms and services of all sizes to responsibly address harmful content. we appreciate that this country has put great thought how platform should dress content. we look forward to address these conversations. as you think about how to shape policy in the important area i would urge the committee to be thoughtful about any changes to section 230 and be very aware of the consequences of those changes that might have on businesses an customers.
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at the end of the day we all share the same goal, free access to information for everyone and responsible protections for people and their data. we support legal frameworks that achieve these goals and i look forward to engaging with you today about these important issues an answering your questions. thank you. stuart: that is sundar pichai, ceo of google. otherwise known as alphabet. he says there is no political bias at google. we need section 230. it is the foundation of freedom in the technology sector. he would be very cautious about any changes to section 230. okay. apparently he is saying, senator wicker is unable to make contact with zuckerberg who is supposed to be next. we could listen in to him for a second. what is going on? >> and that, they are requesting a five minute recess at this point to see if that connection
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can be made. i think this is, most, most interesting development but we're going to accommodate the request of facebook employees and see if within five minutes we can make contact and proceed. so at this point i declare a five minute recess. stuart: okay. they have got a five minute recess because they got technical difficulty bringing in zuckerberg on virtual transmission. they can't get ahold of him at the moment. they have a five minute transition to see if they can establish contact. however, we do know what zuckerberg is going to say and you are going to paraphrase it. susan: zuckerberg when he get gets the technicals up he said congress should be updating section 230 of the 1996 communications decency act. he will work with tech companies
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to make the important decisions for the future of the internet and changes should not stifle expression or impede innovation. that is pretty much the theme across all three of the opening statements because if you change section 230, which is vital to internet protections and for internet companies that ultimately hurts the consumer and stifles free expression and first amendment rights and free speech. stuart: all three of them sound like they would accommodate some change in section 230 but don't throw it out completely. susan: right. stuart: because that would hurt everybody. susan: i think regulators need to decide what these are, these technology companies, private companies, that have innovated their own private platforms. are they utilities that should be regulated by the government? are they publishing media companies instead. stuart: i do notice, susan, left-hand side of the screen, as the market goes down the dow is off 2.7%. there are much bigger losses percentage wise for facebook, alphabet. they are the executives
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testifying before congress. facebook is down 4 1/2%. twitter is down 4 1/2%. alphabet google, down 5%. the market passing negative judgment. susan: sizewise there is only one trillion dollar company on the panel today. that is alphabet. far less firepower and wealth and worth what we saw in july in the antitrust tech case. stuart: i agree entirely. dow industrials low of the day. down 70 points. i believe we have newt gingrich with us. newt, are you there? >> i'm here. how are you? stuart: we are glad to hear it. we don't want any technical glitches between you and i. seems we got technical glitches in washington. where do you stand on this? i don't want -- have they got zuckerberg? have they got him. sorry, newt. i have to do to zuckerberg. >> i was able to hear the other opening statements i was having a hard time connecting myself. >> i know the feeling,
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mr. zuckerberg. >> chairman wicker, ranking member cantwell and members of the committee, every day millions of americans use the internet to share their experiences and discuss issues that matter to them. setting the rules for online discourse is an important challenge for our society and there are principles at stake that go i don't know any one platform. how do we balance free expression and safety? how do we define what is dangerous? who should decide? i don't believe that private companies should be making so many decisions about these issues by themselves. and at facebook we often have to balance competing equities. sometimes the best approach from a safety or security perspective isn't the best for privacy or free expression. so we work with experts across society to strike the right balance. we don't always get it right but we try to be fair and consistent. the reality is that people have very different ideas and views about where the line should be. democrats often say we don't remove enough content and
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republicans often say we remove too much. i expect we'll hear some of those criticisms today. the fact that both sides criticize us doesn't mean we're getting this right but it does mean there are real disagreements where the limits of online speech should be. i think that is understandable. people can reasonably disagree about where to draw the lines. that is a hallmark of democratic societies, especially here in the u.s. with our strong first amendment tradition but it strengthens my belief that when a private company is making these calls, we need a more accountable process that people feel is legitimate and that gives platforms certainty. at facebook we publish our standards and issue quarterly reports on the content that we take down. we launched an independent oversight board that can overturn our decisions. we committed to an audit of our content reports but i believe congress has a role to play too in order to give people confidence that the process is
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carried out in a way that balances society's deeply held values appropriately and that is why i called for regulation. right now the discussion is focused on section 230. some say that ending 230 would solve all the internet's problems. some would say it would end the internet as we know it. from our perspective section 230 does two basic things. first it encourages free expression which is fundamentally important. without 230, platforms could potentially be held liable for everything that people say. they face much greater pressure to take down more content to avoid legal risk. second, if platforms, it allows platforms to moderate content. without 230, platforms can face liability for basic moderation like removing harrassment that impacts the safety of their communities. now there is a reason why america leads in technology. section 230 helped create the internet as we know it.
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it has helped new ideas get built and our companies to spread american values around the world. we should maintain this advantage. but the internet has also evolved. i think that congress should update the law to make sure that it is working as intended. one important place to start would be making content moderation systems more transparent. another, would be to separate good actors from bad actors by making sure that companies can't hide behind section 230 to avoid responsibility for intentionally facilitating illegal activity on their platforms. we're open to working with congress on these ideas and more. i hope the changes that you make will ring true to the spirit and intent of 230. there are consequencal choices to make here. it is important that we don't prevent the next generation of ideas from being built. i know this hearing is about content policy i want to also cover our election preparedness work.
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voting ends in six days. we're in the midst of a pandemic and there are on going threats to the integrity of this election. since 2016 facebook has made major investments to stop foreign interference. we hired more than 35,000 people to work on safety and security. we've disrupted more than 100 networks coming from russia, iran and china and more that were misleading people who they are and what they're doing including three just this week. this is an extraordinary election and we have updated our policies to reflect that we're showing people reliable information about voting and results. and we've strengthened our ads and misinformation policies. we're also running the largest voting information campaign in u.s. history. we estimate that we've helped more than 4.4 million people register to vote and 100,000 people volunteer to be poll workers. candidates on both sides continue to use our platforms to reach voters.
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people are rightly focused on the role that technology companies play in our elections. i'm proud of the work that we've done to support our democracy. this is a difficult period but i believe that america will emerge stronger than ever and we're focused on doing our part to help. >> well, thank you, thank you very much, mr. zuckerberg. and thanks to all of our witnesses. we will now, i think we're supposed to set the clock to seven minutes. i see five minutes up there somehow we'll, we'll keep time, so there, we are. okay. well thank you all. let me start then with mr. dorsey. mr. dorsey, the committee has compiled dozens and dozens of examples of conservative content being censored and suppressed by your platforms over the last four years. i entered these examples into
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the record in october 1st, when the committee voted unanimously to issue the subpoenas and thank you all, three again for working with us on this scheduling. alleviating the necessity for actually exercising the subpoenas. mr. dorsey, your platform allows foreign dictators to post propaganda, typically without restriction yet you routinely restrict the president of the united states. here is an example. in march a spokesman for the chinese communist party falsely accused the u.s. military of causing the coronavirus epidemic. he tweeted, quote, cdc was caught on the spot. when did patient zero begin in the u.s.? how many people are infected? what are the names of the hospitals? it might be the u.s. army who
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brought the epidemic to wuhan. and on and on. after this tweet was up for some two months, twitter added a fact check label to this tweet. after being up for two months. however, when president trump tweeted about how mail-in ballots are vulnerable to fraud, a statement i subscribe to and agree with, and a statement that is in fact true, twitter immediately imposed fact check label on that tweet. mr. dorsey, how does a claim by chinese communists that the u.s. military is to blame for covid remain up for two months without a fact check and the president's tweet about security of mail-in ballots get labeled instantly? >> well, first and foremost we, as you mentioned we did label
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that tweet. as we think about enforcement we consider severity of potential off-line harm and we act as quickly as we can. we have taken action against tweets from world leaders all around the world, including the president and we did take action on that tweet because we saw it. we saw the confusion might encourage and we labeled it accordingly and the goal -- >> speaking of the president's tweet? >> yes. >> okay. >> the foal of our labeling is to propried more context, to connect the dots so people can have more information so they can make decisions for themselves. we, you know, we have created these policies recently. we are enforcing them. there are certainly things that we can do much faster but generally we believe that the
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policy was enforced in a timely manner and in the right regard. >> and yet you seem to have no objection to a tweet by the chinese communist party saying the u.s. army brought the epidemic to wuhan? >> we did, we labeled that tweet. providing -- >> took two months to do so, is that correct? >> i'm not sure of the exact time frame. but we can get back to you on that. >> you will get back to us as to how a tweet from the chinese communist party, falsely accusing the u.s. military of causing the coronavirus epidemic was, was left up for two months with no comment from twitter while the president of the united states making a statement being careful about voter, about ballot security with the mail
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was labeled immediately. i, i have a tweet here from mr. ajit pai. mr. ajit pai is the chairman of the federal communications commission. and, and he, he recounts some four tweets by the iranian dictator ayatollah ali khamenei which twitter did not put a label on. all four of them court violence. the zionist regime is a deadly cancerous growth and detriment to the region. it will undoubtedly up uprootedd destroyed. that is the first tweet. the second tweet, the only remedy until the removal of the zionist regime is firmed armed
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resistance. again left up without comment by twitter. the third, the struggle to free palestine is jihad in the way of god. i quote that in part for the sake of time. and, number four, we will support&as sis any nation or any group anywhere who opposed and fights the zionist regime. i would simply point out that, these tweets are still up, mr. dorsey and, how is it that they are acceptable to be, to be there? i will ask unanimous consent to enter this tweet from ajit pai in the record at this point that will be done without objection. how, mr. dorsey is that acceptable based on your policies at twitter? >> well, we believe it is
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important for everyone to hear from global leaders and we have policies around world leaders. we want to make sure that we are respecting their right to speak and to publish what they need but if there is a violation of our terms of service we want to label it. >> they're still up. do they violate your terms of service, mr. dorsey? >> we did not find those to violate our terms of service. because we considered them sabre-rattling, which is, is part of the speech of world leaders in concert with other countries. speech, against our own people, our countries own citizens we believe is different and can cause more immediate harm. >> very telling information, mr. dorsey. thank you very much. senator cantwell, you're recognized.
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>> -- colleague, senator peters, just because of the timing and situation for him. >> all right, senator peters, are you there? >> i am here. i am here. >> rush ended for seven minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator cantwell, i appreciate your deferral to me. i certainly appreciate that consideration a great deal. i want to thank each of our panelists here today for coming forward and being a witness and appreciate all of you accommodating your schedule so that we can have this hearing. my first question is for mr. zuckerberg. i want to start off saying how much i appreciated our opportunity last night to speak at length on number about issues. as i told you last night, i appreciate the facebook's efforts to assist law enforcement, to disrupt a plat to kidnap and to hold a sham trial and kill our governor, governor whitmer.
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the individuals in that case apparently used fast bike for a broad recruiting effort but then they planned the specifics of that operation off of your platform. my question when users reach the level of radicalization that violates the community standards you often will ban those groups and then drive them off to other platforms. those platforms tend to have less transparency and oversight but, the issue that i would like you to address for those individuals that remain on your platform, they are often far down the path of radicalization but they are definitely looking for an outlet. and i understand that facebook has recently adopted a strategy to redirect users who are searching for, example, for election misinformation but it doesn't seem that that policy applies to budding violent extremists. mr. zuckerberg, do you believe that the plat form, that your
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platform has a responsibility to off-ramp users on the path to radicalization by violent extremist groups? >> senator, thanks for the question. i think this is very important. my understanding is that we actually do a little of what you're talking about here. if people are search forge, for example, white supremacist organizations which we banned those, we treat them as terrorist organizations, not only are we not going to show that content, i think we try to, where we can, highlight information that would be helpful. i think we try to work with experts on that. i can, i can get you more information on the scope of those activities and when we invoke that but i certainly agree with the spirit of the question that this is a good idea and something we should continue pursuing and perhaps expand. >> well i appreciate those
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comments. i'm the ranking member on the senate homeland security committee. we're seeing a rise in violence of extremist groups. stuart: i want to break away from the testimony bravely. the market is selling off big time. in particular you notice the stock prices of the three companies whose executives are being grilled this morning, those three stocks are down far more in overall percentage terms. facebook down 4%, twitter down 3%. alphabet google down 5%. look who is here. martha maccallum who kangtores "the story" on fox news channel. i have yet to hear, maybe it will come later but i have yet to her nation about the suppression of the hunter biden scandal and the story in the "new york post" that were flat-out suppressed. i think these guys are having a hard time, they're struggling in fact to justify the censorship which they have placed on these conservative views. what do you say?
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>> i expect that we will hear about the hunter biden story. i think something that is so tangible, stuart, that brought this issue into people's purview in a way that maybe a lot of this hasn't in the past because the fact of the matter is, the more people hear about that story, the more they watch tony bobulinski speak with tucker carlson last night, see him come across as a credible former navy lieutenant, they have questions that are legitimate about what happened here and it just boggles the mind how quickly twitter and facebook moved to stamp out that story and continue to do so. in fact they have told the "new york post" if they don't remove previous posts on that story, they will not be allowed to exchange on twitter in the way that they did in the past. it is just an incredible, big foot move by these two, by these two entities in the middle
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of this election. one of the exchanges i thought was fascinating with jack dorsey, the senator he was speaking with before, gary peters and he talked about allowing what he called sabre-rattling from foreign leaders from iran going after the united states on twitter, and yet they moved once again so quickly to take down president trump's questions about mail-in voting and concerns. we know that some of those, you know, started to play out already with a lot of these ballots being confused, unsigned, sent back, all of this. so you know, i find this exchange absolutely fascinating. i think it is much more prevalent for people for the hunter biden story. stuart: the truth is, dorsey did not have a valid answer for the question put to him by senator wicker. >> he did not. stuart: didn't have it. i don't know what this committee can do about it though. they are exposing censorship but what are they going to do? will they throw out section 230, which offers immunity, liability
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protection to the social media? are they going to throw that out? if they do that, you really messed up the whole internet. they could modify it, maybe. but i don't know how they will modify it. i don't think there will be an answer coming out of these hearings what to do about sense sore ship. the great thing is we're being told about it. it is out there in the public realm six days before the election that is the importance of these hearings? >> i think it is too, stuart. i think that often there is a frustration with these senate hearings because you hear a lot of grandstanding and hear a lot of back and forth and it leads to nothing. on the other hand i think it is fascinating to watch the posture of these three executives from facebook and twitter and google because it almost feels, stuart, as if they realize they kind of have to go through this, almost like when a child comes in, i have got to take my lumps. they know they have got to take their lumps. they also know that both sides have an interest in not
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completely confining these institutions. so they have obviously a lot of chips in their corner. on the other happened, i think they have come to terms about the fact they are going to get some regulation. that they have been really free of regulation in a way that has been unprecedented. it is such a new industry still in this country even though we've been dealing with it for 20 years. there is still so much that needs to be reined in. i look to the supreme court to begin to do that. clarence thomas made it very clear he wants to wrap his arms around this issue in one way or another and when that case become comes before the court, my guess with the new confession they will hear it. stuart: think of the stories we have to juggle and you're juggling them as well. the virus, election six days away, the hearings and the supreme court. we've got it all right there. martha, thanks for taking time out on a busy day. we really appreciate it. i will go back to the hearings. the questioning has just moved
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on. >> for your time, at least deferring your time to me. thank you, mr. zuckerberg, mr., pichai, mr. dorsey, thank you for being here. mr. dorsey, i'm going to direct these first questions to you. mr. dorsey, do you believe the holocaust really happened, yes or no? >> yes. >> so you would agree someone who says the holocaust may not have happened is spreading misinformation, yes or no? >> yes. >> i appreciate your answers on this. but they surprise me and probably a lot of other coloradoance and americans. after all iran's ayatollah done exactly this, questioning the holocaust. yet his tweets remain unflagged on twitter's platform. you and i agree moderating your plat form makes sense in certain respects. we don't want the next terrorist finding inspiration on twitter or any, any platform for that matter but you've also decided to moderate certain content from
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influential world leaders. i would like to understand your decisions to do so a little better. can you name any other instance of twitter hiding or deleting a tweet from heads of state? >> not off the top of my head but we have many examples across world leaders around the world. >> would you be willing to provide a list of those? >> absolutely. >> i know we've established precontent moderation can have certain upsides combating terrorism but twit are chose to approach content moderation from the standpoint of combating misinformation as well. it is strange to me you flagged the tweets from the president but haven't hidden the ayatollah's tweets on holocaust denial or calls to wipe israel off the map. that you, can't recall off the top of your head hidden or deleted tweets from other world leaders. i would appreciate that list. i think it is important we all hear that. that brings my next question to the front. does twitter maintain a formal list of certain accounts that
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you actively mon for for misinformation? >> no. and we don't have a policy against misinformation. we have a policy against misinformation in three categories which are manipulated media, public health, specifically covid, and civic integrity and election interference and voter suppression. that is all we have policy on for misleading information. we do not have policy or enforcement for any other types of misleading information that you're mentioning. >> so somebody denying the murder of millions of people or instay gaiting violence against a country as head of state is not categorically falling in misinformation or any other categories twitter has. >> not misinformation but we have other policies around incitement to violence. some of the tweets you mentioned are examples of you're mentioning may follow in but for misleading information we're focused on the three categories
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only. >> somebody denies the holocaust happened is not misinformation? >> it is misleading information but we don't have a policy against that type of misleading information. >> millions of people died and that's not a violation of twitter? again i just don't understand how you can label a president of the united states, have you ever taken a tweet down from the ayatollah? >> i believe we have but we can get back to you on it. we certainly labeled tweets. and i believe we have taken them down as >> you know, if you -- you said you do not have a list, is that correct? you do not maintain a list? >> we don't maintain a list of accounts we watch. we look for reports and issues brought to us, and we weigh it against our policy. >> you look for reports from your employees or from the -- >> no, from the people, from the people using the service. >> right. and then they turn that over to your board for review, is that
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correct? >> yes. we -- well, so in some cases algorithms take action. in other cases -- [inaudible] do, if some cases it's a pairing of the two. >> there are numerous examples of blue check marks that are spreading false information that aren't flagged, and twitter must have some kind of list, you have the blue check mark lust. how do you with decide -- is there a formal checklist that must be met before a retweet flagged? >> no. >> twitter can't claim -- i just, with your answers on the ayatollah and others, i just don't understand how twitter can claim to want a world of less hate and misinformation while you simultaneously let the kind of content that the eye tole that la has tweeted out -- ayatollah out on the platform. it's no wonder americans are concerned about the politically- i don't like the idea of a group
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of unelected elites in san francisco or silicon valley deciding whether my speech is permissible on their platforms, but i like even less the idea of unelected washington, d.c. bureaucrats trying to enforce some kind of politically neutral content moderation. so just as we have heard from other panelists, as we've, we're going to hear throughout the day, we have to be very careful cannot rush to legislate in ways that stifle speech. you can delete facebook, turn off twitter or try to ditch google, but you cannot unsubscribe from government censors. congress should be focused on encouraging speech, not restrict it. the supreme court has tried teaching us that lesson, and the constitution demands that we remember it. running short on time, i'm going to very quickly go through another question. one of the core questions of section 230 protections is this, you shouldn't be responsible for what someone else says on your platform. conversely, you should be liable for what you say or do on your own platform.
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i think that's pretty common sense. but courts have not always reached this approach. the section 230 has sometimes been interpreted by courts more broad lu than i expected, for example, allowing some web sites to escape liability for content they helped create. mr. zuckerberg, i have a simple question for you and each of the panelists today quickly. to be clear, i'm not talking about technical tools or on the other handing the platform -- operating the platform itself. do you three the you should be held liable -- very quickly. >> senator, i think that that is reasonable. >> yes or no, mr. dorsey? twitter creates copp tent, should twitter be liable for that content? >> as well. >> mr. pichai, same question to you. >> if we aring acting as a publisher, i would say, yes. >> the specific content that you
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create on your own platform, yes. >> that seems reasonable. >> thank you. i think one of the other sides of the liability questions in regard to good faith removal provision in section 230 that we'll get into a little bit more in the private questions. mr. chairman, thank you for giving me this time. senator thune, thank you as well. thank you to the witnesses. >> thank you, senator gardener. the ranking member has now deferred to senator klobuchar, so, senator, you are now recognized. >> thank you, chairman. i want to know, first, that this hearing comes sick days before election -- six days before election day, and it makes, i believe, we're politicizing and the republican majority is pretty sizing what should actually not -- politicizing what should actually not with a partisan topic. and i do want to thank the witnesses here for appearing but also for the work that they're doing to try to encourage voting and to put out the correct
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information when the president, others are undermining vote by mail, something we're doing in every state in the country right now. second point, republicans failed to pass bipartisan honest ads act, and the white house blatantly blocked the bipartisan election security bill that i had with senator lankford as well as several other republicans. and it's one ofs reasons i think we need a new president. third, my republican colleagues in the senate, many of them i work with very well on this committee, but we have had four years to do something when it comes to antitrust, privacy, local news, a subject that briefly came up and so many other things. i'm going to use my time to focus on what i consider in justice ginsburg's words to be a blueprint for the future. i'll start with you, mr. zuckerberg. how many people log in to facebook every day? >> senator, it is more than 2
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billion. >> okay. and how much money have you made on political advertisements in the last two years? >> senator, i do not know off the top of my head. it is relatively small part of our content. >> okay. small for you but i think it's $2.2 billion 10,000 ads sold since may 2018. those are your numbers, and we can check them later. do you require facebook employees to review the content of each of the political ads that you sell? in order to insure that they comply with the law and your own internal rules? >> senator, we require all politicaltizers to be verified before they can run ads. and i believe we do review advertising as well. >> but does a real person actually read the political ads? yes or no. >> senator, i imagine that a person does not look at every
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single ad. our systems are a combination of artificial intelligence systems and people. we have 35,000 people who do content and security review for us, but in the -- >> i really just have a straightforward question because i don't think they do. i think the algorithms, because i think the ads instantly are placed, is that correct? >> senator, my understanding of the way the system works is we have computers and artificial intelligence scan everything, and if we think that there are potential violations, then either the a.i. system will act, or it will flag it to the tens of thousands of people who do content review. >> i think with all the money you have, you could have a real person review, like, a lot of the other traditional media organizations do. another question. when john mccain and i and senator warner introduced the honest ads act, we got pushback from your company, others, and usual initially against it.
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then we discussed this at a hearing, you're for it, i appreciate that. and have you spent any of the money, i know facebook spent the most money on lobbying last year, have you spent any of the money trying to change or block the bill? >> senator, no. in fact, i have endorsed it publicly, and we've implemented it into our system even though it hasn't become law. i'm a big supporter -- >> [inaudible] try to change it, no review, have you done anything to get it passed? because we're at a roadblock on it. and i do appreciate that you voluntarily implemented some of it, but have you voluntarily implemented the part where you fully disclose which groups of people are being targeted by political ads? >> senator, we have, i think, industry-leading transparency around political ads, and part of that is showing which audiences in broad terms
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endedded up seeing the ads. of course, getting the right resolution on that is challenging without it becoming a privacy issue, but we've tried to do that and and provide as much transparency as we can, and i think we're currently leading in that area. to your question about -- >> i still have concerns, and i don't mean to interrupt you, but i have such limited time. one of the things that i, last thing i want to ask you about is divisiveness on the platform. and i know there's been a recent, studies have shown that part of your algorithms that push people towards more polarized content, left are, right, whatever, in fact, one of your researchers warned senior executives that our algorithms exploit the human brain's attraction the divisiveness. the way i look at it, more divisiveness, more time on the platform, more time on the platform, the company makes more money. does that bother you, what it's done to our politics? >> senator, i respectfully
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disagree with that characterization of how the systems work. we design our systems to show people the content that's going to be the most meaningful to them. which is not trying to be as divisive as possible. most of the content on the system is not political. it's thicks like -- things like making sure you can see when your cousin had her baby. >> okay. i want to move on toking google here and mr. pichai, but i'm telling you right now that that's not what i'm talking about, the cousins and the babies here. i'm talking about conspiracy theories and all the things that i think the senators on both sides of the aisle know what i'm talking about. and i think it's been corrosive. google, mr. by i choi, i am -- by choi, i have not really liked your response to the lawsuit and what's been happening. i think we need a change the in competition policy. i hope i'll be able to is can you more about it at the
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judiciary committee. and i think your response isn't just offensive, it's been defiant to the justice department and suits all over the world. you control almost 90% of almost all general search engine year ilys, 70% of -- queries. don't you see these practices as anticompetitive? >> well, senator, we are a popular agenda for search, we do see robust competition in in may categories of information, and, you know, we are significantly innovating. we are lowering prices in all the markets we are operating in. happy to, you know, engage in this discussion further. >> well, one of your employees testified before the antitrust subcommittee last month, and he suggested that google wasn't dominant in ad tech, that it was only one of many companies in a highly competitive ad tech land scape, yet google has 90% of the ad server market, a product of its double click acquisition. does the market sound highly
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competitive to you when you -- >> very brief answer. >> publishers can use simultaneously made tools. amazon -- has grown significantly in the last two years. you know, we, this is a market in which we share the majority of the revenue. our margins are low. we're happy the take feedback here. we're trying to support the publishing industry but definitely open to feedback and happy to engage in this -- >> happy -- [inaudible conversations] >> looking forward to our next hearing to discuss it more. thank you. >> thank you very much. senator thune, you're now recognized. >> thank you, much. and i appreciate you convening the hearing today which is an important follow-up to the subcommittee hearing that we convened in july on section 230. many of us here today and many of those we represent are deeply concerned about the possibility of political bias and discrimination by large internet social media platforms. others are concerned that even if your actions aren't skewed, that they are hugely consequential for our public debate, yet you operate with
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limited accountability. such distrust is intensified by the fact that the moderation practices used to suppress or amplify content remain largely a black box to the public. the public explanations given by the platforms for taking down or suppressing content too often seem like excuses and have to be walked back after scrutiny. and due to exceptional secrecy with which platforms protect their algorithms and contented moderation practices, it's been impossible to prove one way or another whether political bias exists. so users are stuck with anecdotal information that frequently seems to confirm their worst fears, which is whew i've introduced two bipartisan bills, the platform accountability and consumer transparency or the p.a.c.t. act and the filter bubble transparency act to give users, the regulators and the general public meaningful insight into decisions and how algorithms may be suppressing information.
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i look forward to continuing that discussion today. my democrat colleague suggests that when we criticize the bias against conservatives, that we're somehow working the reps. but the analogy of working the refs assumes that it's legitimate even to think of you as refs. it assumes that you three silicon valley ceos get to decide what political speech gets amplified or suppressed, and it assumes you're the arbiters of truth or at the very least the publishers making editorial decisions about speech. so, yes or no, i would ask this of each of the three of you, are the can democrats can correct that you all are the legitimate referees over our political speech? mr. suber berg, are you -- zuckerberg, are you the ref? >> senate, i certainly think not, and i do not want us to have that role. >> mr. dorsey, are you the ref?
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>> no. >> mr. pichai, are you the refsome. >> senator, i do think we we make content moderation are decisions, but we are -- about it, but we really believe in and support maximizing freedom of expression. >> i'll take that as three nos. and i agree with you, you are not the referees of our political speech. that's why all three of you have to be more transparent and fair with your content moderation policies and your content selection algorithm. ings. because at the moment it is, as i said, largely a black box. there's real miss trust among the american people about whether you're being fair or transparent. and this extends to concerns about the kinds of amplification and up presentation decisions your platforms may make on election day if the result ares of the are too close to call. so i just want to underscore, again, for my democratic friends who keep using this really bad referee analogy e, google, facebook and twitter are not the
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referees over our democracy. now, second question, the p.a.c.t. act, which it referenced earlier, includes provisions to give users due process and an explanation when content is removed. this is, again, a yes or no question. do you' that users should be entitled to due process and an explanation when content they post has been taken down? many zuckerberg. >> senator, i think that would be a good principle to have. >> thank you. mr. dorsey. >> absolutely. we believe in a fair and straightforward appeals process. >> great. mr. pichai? >> yes, senator. >> great, thank you. mr. zuckerberg and mr. dorsey, the -- your platforms knowingly suppressed or limited the visibility of this new post article about the content on hunter biden's abandoned laptop. many in the country are
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justifiably concerned how often the suppression of major newspaper articles occurs online. and i would say, mr. zuckerberg, would you commit to provide for the record a complete list of newspaper articles that facebook suppressed or limited the distribution of over the past five years along with an explanation of why each article was suppressed or the distribution was limited? >> senator, i can certainly follow up with you and your team to discuss that. this was -- we have an independent fact-checking program. as you're saying, you know, we try not to be arbiters of what's true ourselves, but we have partnered with fact check orers around the world -- checkers around the world to help assess that to prevent miss information and viral -- misinformation and viral hoaxes from becoming widely distributed on our
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platform. and i believe that the information that they fact check and the content that they fact check is public. so i think that there's probably already a record of this that can be reviewed. >> yeah. but if you could do that as it applies to newspapers, that would be very helpful. mr. dorsey, would you commit to doing the same on behalf of twitter? >> we would absolutely be open to it. and we, you know, we actually are going a step forward which aligns with what you're introducing which is much more transparency around our process, content moderation process and also the results, the outcomes. and doing that on a regular basis. i do agree and think that accountability and, ultimately, that lends itself to more trust. >> great, thank you. all right, very quickly, i don't have a lot of time either, but i often hear from conservative and religious americans who look at the public statements of your companies, gee the geographic
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concentration of your companies and the political donations of your employees which often are in the 80-90% to democrat politicians. and you can see why this lack of ideological diversity among the executives and employees of your company could be problematic and may be contributing to some of the distrust among conservatives and republican users. and so i guess the question that i would ask is, and, mr. zuckerberg, my understanding is that the person that's in charge of election integrity and security at facebook is a former joe biden staffer. is there someone that's closely associated with president trump who's in the same sort of election integrity role at facebook? and what -- how do you all respond to that argument that there isn't sufficient balance in terms of the political ideology or diversity in your
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companies, and how to you deal -- how do you deal with the lack of trust that creates among can conservativesesome. >> let's see if we can have three brief answers there. >> senator, i think having balances is valuable. we try to do that. i'm not aware of the example that you say of someone in charge of this process who worked for biden in the past. so we can follow up on that if that's -- >> follow up on the record for the res of this answer, please, mr. zuckerberg, thank you. >> all right. >> mr. dorsey. well, this is why i do believe it's important to have more transparency around our process and our practices. and it's independent of the viewpoints that our employees hold. we need to make sure that we're showing people that we have objective policies and enforcement. >> and mr. pichai.
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>> in these teams there are people who are liberal, republican, libertarian and so on. we have commented we consult widely with third party organizations across both sides when we develop our policies, and as the ceo, i'm committed to running it without any political bias, but happy to engage more in answer. >> thank you, gentlemen, and thank you, senator thune. the ranking member has now deferred to senator blumenthal. sir, you are recognized. >> thanks, mr. chairman. and thank you to the ranking member. i want to gun by associating -- begin by associating myself with the very thoughtful comments made by the ranking member as to the need for broader consideration of issues of privacy and competition and local news. they are vitally important. and also with the comments made by my colleague, senator
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klobuchar, about the need for antitrust review. and i assume we'll be examining some of these topics in november before the judiciary committee. you know, i've been an advocate of reform of section 230 for literally 15 years. when i was attorney general of the state of connecticut, i raised this issue of the absolute immunity that no longer seems appropriate. so i really welcome the bipartisan consensus that we're seeing now that there needs to be constructive review. but, frankly, i am appalled that my republican colleagues are holding this hearing literally days before an election when they seem to want to bully and browbeat the platforms here to
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try to tilt them for president trump's fair. the time -- favor. the timing seems inexplicable except to game the ref, in effect. i recognize the referee analogy is not completely exact, but that's exactly what they're trying to do. namely, to bully and browbeat these platforms to favor senator -- president trump's betweens and posts. and, frankly, president trump has broken all the norms, and he has put on your platforms potentially dangerous and lethal misinformation and disinformation. i'm going to hold up one of them. this one, as you can see, pertains to covid. we have learned to live with it,
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he says, just like we are learning to live with covid, talking about the flu, we have learned to live with it. in most populations, far less lethal. he has said that children, i would say almost definitely, almost immune from this disease. he has said about the elections, big problems and discrepancies with mail-in ballots all over the usa. must have final total on november 3rd. forchew naughtily -- fortunately, the platform it is are acting to label or take down these kinds of posts. but my republican colleagues have been silent. they've lost their phones or their voices, and the platforms, in my view, have -- [audio difficulty]
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>> we just lost your voice there in mid sentence, richard. stuart: okay. we've got a technical breakdown there, just lost the voice of senator blumenthal. have we got him back? have we got him back? let's listen in. >> good. just a, start back one sentence before. we had you until then. >> i just want to say about this disinformation from the president, there's been deafening silence from my republican colleagues. and now we have a hearing that is, in effect, trying to intimidate and browbeat the platforms that have labeled discuss information for exactly what it -- disinformation for exactly what it is. we're on the verge of a massive onslaught on the integrity of
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our election. president trump has indicated that he will potentially interfere by posting disinformation on election day or the morning after. the russians have begun already interfering in our elections. we've all seen briefings that are literally chilling about what they are doing, and the fbi and the csis have recently issued public alerts that, quote, foreign actors and cyber criminals likely to spread disinformation regarding 2020 results. they are making 2016 look like child's play in what they are doing. so president trump and the republicans is have a plan which involves disinformation and misinformation.
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the russians have have a plan. i want to know whether you have a plan, facebook, twitter, google, a plan if the president uses your platforms to say on the day of the election that there is rigging or fraud without any basis in evidence or attempts to say that the election is over and the voting, the counting of votes must stop either on november 4th or some day subsequent. and i would like as to this question about whether you have a plan, a yes or no.
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>> senator, sorry, we do. we have policies related to all of the areas that you just mentioned. candidates or campaigns trying to delegitimize methods of voting or the election, candidates trying to prematurely declare victory and candidates trying to spread voter suppression material that is misleading about how, when or where to vote. so we're, we've taken a number of steps on that front. >> perhaps we could take mr. pichai next and then mr. dorsey. mr. by -- pichai. >> senator, yes, we definitely are robustly are, we've been planning for a while, and we rely on raising up our news sources for moments like that. we've closely partnered with the associated press to make sure we can provide you the most accurate information possible. >> and then, yes, we also have a
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plan. so, you know, our plan and enforcement around these issues is pointing to more information that specifically state election officials. so we want to give people using the service as much information as possible. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. the three witnesses we have before this committee today collectively pose, i believe, the single greatest threat to free speech in america and the greatest threat we have to free and fair elections. yesterday i spent a considerable amount of time speaking with both mr. zuckerberg and mr. pichai. i have concerns about the behavior of both of their companies. i would note that facebook is, at the minimum, at least trying to make some efforts in the direction of defending free speech. i appreciate their doing so. google, i agree with the concerns that senator klobuchar
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raised. i think google has more power than any company on the face of the planet, and the antitrust concerns are real, the impact of google is profound, and i expect we will have continued and ongoing discussions about google's abuse of that power and its willingness to manipulate search outcomes to influence and change election results. but today i want to focus my questioning on mr. dorsey and on twitter. because of the three players before us, i think twitter's conduct has by far been the most egregious. mr. dorsey, does twitter have the ability to influence elections? >> no. >> you don't believe twitter has any ability to influence elections? >> no. we are one part of a --
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[inaudible] channels that people have. >> so you're testifying to this committee right now that twitter when it silences people, when it censors people, when it blocks political speech, that has no impacts on elections? >> people have choice of other communication channels -- >> not if they don't hear information. if you don't think you have the power to influence elections, why do you block anything? >> well, we have policies that are focused on making sure that more voices on the platform are possible. we see a lot of abuse and harassment which ends up silencing people and having them leave from the platform. >> all right. mr. dorsey, i find your opening questions or opening answers absurd on their face. let's talk about the last two weeks in particular. as you know, i have long been concerned about twitter's pattern of cent corpsing -- censoring and silencing individual americans with whom twitter disagrees. but two weeks ago twitter, and to a aer ex-- lesser extent facebook, crossed a threshold that is fundamental in our
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country. two weeks ago twitter made the unilateral decision to censor "the new york post" in a series of two blockbuster articles, both alleging evidence of corruption against joe biden. the first concerning ukraine, the second concerning communist china. and twitter made the decision, number one, to prerevent users, any user, from sharing those stories. and number two, you went even further and blocked "the new york post" from sharing on twitter its own reporting. why did twitter make the decision to censor "the new york post"? >> we had a hacked materials -- that we -- >> what's that policy -- [inaudible] >> in 2018, i believe. >> in 2018. go ahead, what was the policy? >> so the policy is around limiting the spread of materials that are hacked. we didn't want twitter to be a distributer for hacked materials. we found that the new york post,
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because it showed the direct materials, or screen shots of the direct materials, it was unclear how those were obtained. that it fell under this policy. now -- >> so in your view, if it's unclear the source of a document -- in this instance, new york post documented what it said the source was, which it said it was a laptop owned by hunter biden that has been turned in to a repair store. so they weren't hiding what they claimed to be the source. is it your position that twitter, when you can't tell the source, blocks press stories? >> no, not at all. we, our team made a fast decision. the enforcement action, however, of blocking ur ls in tweets and in dm, direct messages, we believe was incorrect. and we changed it -- >> today "the new york post" is still blocked from tweeting two weeks later. >> yes. they have to log in to their
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account which they can do at this minute, delete the original tweet which fell under our original enforcement actions, and they can tweet the exact same material, the exact same article, and it would go through. >> so, mr. dorsey, your ability is you have the power to force a media outlet -- let's be clear. "the new york post" isn't just some random guy tweeting. the new york post is the fourth highest circulation of any newspaper in america. "the new york post" is 200 years old. "the new york post" was founded by alexander hamilton, is and your position is that you can sit in silicon valley and demand of the media that you can tell them what stories they can publish, you can tell the american people what reporting they can hear, is that right? >> no. this was, this was a, you know, every person, every account, every organization that signs up to twitter agrees to a terms of service. terms of service -- >> so media outlets must genuflect and obey your dictates
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if they wish to be able to communicate with readers. is that right? >> no, not at all. you know, we recognized an record in this policy, specifically e the enforcement -- >> you're still blocking the post. you're still blocking the post. right now, today, you're blocking the post. >> we're not blocking the post. anyone can tweet. >> "the new york post" on their twitter account. >> if they go into their account -- >> no, is your answer to that. no, unless they -- [inaudible conversations] and agree with your dictates. let me ask you this something. you claimed it was because of a hacked materials policy. i find that facially highly dubious and clearly employed in a deeply partial way. did twitter block the distribution of the new "the nek times"' story a few weeks ago that purported to be based on copies of president trump's tax returns? >> we didn't find that the violation of our terms service and the policy in particular
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because it was reporting about the material. it wasn't districting the material. >> -- distributing the material. >> okay. well, that's actually not true. they reported what i think reported to be original source materials, and federal statute makes it a crime, a federal felony, to distribute someone's tax return against their knowledge. so that material was based on something that was distributed in violation of federal law, and yet twitter gleefully allowed people to circulate that. but when the article was critical of joe biden, twitter engaged in rampant censorship and silencing. >> and, again, we recognized errors in that policy. we changed it within 24 hours. this is -- >> but you're still blocking the new york post. you haven't changed it. >> we have changed it. they can log into their account, delete the original -- >> you forced a politico reporter to take down his post about "the new york post" as well, is that correct? >> within that 24-hour period, yes. but we, you know, as the policy
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has changed, anyone can tweet -- >> no twitter -- [inaudible] new york post, you can censor politico, presumably you can censor "the new york times" or any other media outlet. mr. dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the american people are allowed to hear and why do you persist in behaving as a democratic superpac, silencing news to the contrary of your political beliefsesome. >> let's give mr. dorsey a few seconds to answer that, and then we have to conclude this one, this segment. >> welsh we're not doing that -- well, we're not doing that. and this is why i opened this hearing with calls for more transparency. we realize we need to earn trust more. we realize that more accountability is needed to show our intentions and to show the outcomes. >> thank you -- >> so i hear the concerns and acknowledge them. but we want to fix it with more
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transparent i. i -- transparency. >> thank you, mr. cruz. the ranking member has deferred to senator schatz. you are recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, ranking member. you know, this is an unusual hearing at an unusual time. i have never seen a hearing so close to an election on any topic, let alone on something that is so obviously a violation of our obligation under the law and the rules of the senate to stay out of electioneering. we merv do this, and there is a very -- we never do this, and there is a -- stuart: we're breaking away for just one moment because we just heard from senator ted cruz, republican from texas, who really went after jack dorsey who is the ceo of twitter. specifically, the senator went after him on the grounds that twitter had blocked the twitter account of "the new york post" if, a very old newspaper, because they were reporting on
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the latest scandal surrounding hunter biden. twitter blocked it and has not yet reopened "the new york post"'s twitter account. essential lu, as the senator said, they had acted as censures of that newspaper item, that article, that opinion piece. i think the senator went after him very strongly there, and i don't think jack dorsey came out of it real well. susan, you're more a middle of the road observer. >> definitely some fireworks during that exchange. i would say that when you heard ted cruz there say to jack dorsey who the hell voted you as a democratic super pac, i mean, that kind of encapsulated a lot of the contentions when it comes to censorship especially with "the new york post" article. stuart: and that's what this whole hearing's about, political censorship. have they censored political voices orbit. senator cruz makes very solid points.
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>> right. stuart: very much saying, yes, you doid censure conservatives, and as he said, who the hell gives you the right to do that? >> different sides are coming at this issue from different viewpoints. we do have censorship and key bias on -- conservative bias from the republican pseudo, but when you hear the klobuchars and even, yes, the democratic pseudo, it's all about not, i guess, losing hate speech and misinformation. and democratic political ads as well. >> well, senator blumenthal was out there saying, look, why didn't you censure president trump for some of the tweets that he's put out? and he gave a list of those betweens. essentially, senator blumenthal was anti-trump, not necessarily pro-twitter but certainly anti-trump. before that it was senator peters, democrat from michigan, who was going after the social networks because they continued to cover and continue to carry the posts of some of the
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right-wing militia groups which have engaged in a conspiracy to kidnap the governor of michigan. so their coming at it -- they're coming at it from both sides of the aisle, but essentially the story's the same, it is censorship. what you censor and why. that's the nitty-gritty here. >> to me, at least, the most telling has been when they asked jack dorsey, why don't you do that from incendiary tweets from other world leaders as well? he says that's saber rattling, but when you encourage violence existence your own people, that violates the terms of service on the platform. stuart: exactly. why is the ayatollah khamenei allowed to disavow the holocaust, he dismissed the holocaust, completely denying it. >> yeah. stuart: that tweet's okay. >> and threatening vibes against israel as well. stuart: that's okay. >> that does not violate terms of service. stuart: i think the social networks are called upon to do
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an impossible job. >> they are. stuart: i don't see how you can be the arbiter of literally billions of messages posted every day. how can you possibly decide what to put on or what not to put on, and that's the job they've got. >> the heat map right now, google's receiving the least amount of questions. probably jack dorsey is taking the most. zuckerberg's pretty close behind. stuart: and all of the stocks, twitter is now falling some more. twitter was down 3.5, 4%, now it's down over 5%, talking about the stock price now. google, down 4.8%. facebook down 4.4%. these three stocks are take it on the chin, but remember, please, we've got a broad general selloff all across the board here. other big tech stocks are way down, notably microsoft, for example. so these three stocks where the executives are being challenged today, they're not out of line with the overall decline that we're seeing on wall street. which, by the way, is the result of the virus crackdown in europe
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which may come here. it's also about the election, how close is it and are we going to have a very contested election when we've got the results after november the 3rd, and you've got these hearings, very contentious. are we we going to go back to listen again? yes, we should. >> senator hawley is on fox and on the senate floor, and the commerce committee itself is tweeting out a campaign-style video that sort of alarmingly says hunter biden's e-mails, tech censorship. on october 21st senator hawley reattempted to pass his bill on section 230, again without going through any committee markup or vote. and on friday senator graham announced that the ceos of facebook and twitter would testify before the senate judiciary committee on november 17th. this is bullying, and it is for
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electoral purposes. do not let the united states senate bully you into carrying the water for those who want to advance misinformation. and don't let the specter of removing section 230 protections or an amendment to antitrust law or any other kinds of threats cause you to be a party to the subversion of our democracy. i will be glad to participate in good faith bipartisan hearings on these issues when the election is over. but this is not that. thank you. >> thank you. senator schatz. next is senator fischer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> men, i'm not here to bully -- gentlemen, or i'm not here to bull hi you today, and i'm certainly not here to read any kind of political statement right before an election. to me, this hearing is not a sham. i am here to gain some clarity
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on the policies that you use. i am here to look at your proposals for more transparency. because your platforms have become an integral part of our democratic process for both candidates, but also more importantly, for our citizens as well. your platforms also have enormous power to manipulate user behavior and to direct content and to shape narratives. mr. dorsey, i heard your opening statement. i read it, you also tweeted that the concept of good faith is what's being challenged by many of you here today. some of you don't trust we're acting in good faith. that's the problem i want to focus on solving. mr. dorsey, why should we trust
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you with so much power? in other words, why shouldn't we regulate you more? >> well, the suggestions we're making around more transparency is how we want to build that trust. we do agree that we should be publishing more of our practice of content moderation. we've made decisions to moderate content. we've made decisions to moderate content to make sure that we are enabling as many voices on our platform as possible, and i acknowledge and completely agree with the concerns that it feels like a black box. and anything that we can do to bring transparency to it, including publishing our policies, our practices, answering very simple questions around how content is moderated and then doing what we can around the growing trend of algorithms, moderating more.
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as i said, this one is a tough one the actually bring transparency to. explain about in a.i. is a field of research, but it is far out. and i think a better opportunity is giving people more choice around the algorithms they use. including turning off the algorithms completely, which is what we're attempting to do. >> right. but you can understand the concerns that people have when they see that what many consider are making value judgments on what's going to be on your platforms. you say users can report content, and then you take actions. but certainly you can understand that people are very concerned, they're very worried about what they see as manipulation on your
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part. you say you're going to have more transparency and, yeah, that's -- sorry, i say this with respect, i don't think that's enough just to say you're going to have that transparency there, and you are not influencing people because with any kind of a free press is bought on both sides. what we would view in the political world as both sides here when views aren't able to be expressed, that does have a huge amount of influence. >> i completely understand, and i agree that it's not enough. i don't think transparency alone addresses these concerns. i think we have to continue to push for a more straight forward and fast and efficient appeals process, and i do believe we need to look deeply at a algorithm. s and how they're used and how people have choice on how to use
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them or whether they use them. >> but ultimately, somebody makes a decision. where does the buck stop? with the algorithms? you know, where does the buck stop? who's going to make a value judgment? because in my opinion, it is a value judgment. >> well, ultimately i'm accountable to all the decisions the company makes, but we want to make sure that we're providing clear frameworks that are objective and that can be tested and that we have multiple checkpoints associated with them so that we can learn quickly if we're doing something inerror. >> and when your company amplifies some content over others, is it fair for you to have legal protections for your actions? >> we believe so. keep in mind, a lot of our algorithms recommending content is focused on saving people time. so we're ranking things that the algorithms believe people would
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find most relevant, most valuable -- >> but it's your value judgment. >> no, it's not a value unit. it's base -- judgment. it's based on activity you take on on the network. >> mr. zuckerberg, with your ever-expanding content moderation policies, are you materially involved in that content? >> senator, yes, i spend a meaningful amount of time on making sure that we get our content policies and enforce9 right. >> okay, thank you. what, if any, changes do you think should be made to section 230 to address the specific concerns regarding content moderation that you've heard so far this morning? >> senator, i would outline a couple. first, i agree with jack that increasing transparency in the content moderation process would be an important step for
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building trust and accountability. one thing that we already do at facebook is every quarter we issue a transparency report where for each of the 20 or so categories of harmful content that we are trying to address, so terrorism, child exploitation, incitement of violence, different types of content, we issue a report on how we're doing, what the prevalence of that content is on our network and what percentage of our systems are able to take down before someone even has to report it to us. helps, what the precision is and basically how accurate our systems are. and getting to the point where everyone across the industry is reporting on a biasline like that, i think -- baseline like that, i think, would be valuable for people to have these discussions not just about anecdotes of, okay, i saw a
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piece of content, and i'm not necessarily sure i agree with how that was moderated, it would how the conversation to move to data so that way we can understand how these platforms are performing overall and hold them accountable. >> thank you. ing. >> -- issue with your answer, i think, would be the time involved, that it wouldn't be an immediate response to have that conversation as you call it. i hope that all three of you gentlemen can answer that question. my time is up, thank you -- >> thank you, senator fischer, i appreciate that. we are going to take now senator cantwell's questioning after which we are going to accommodate our witnesses with a 5-minute recess. so, senator cantwell, you're recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. can you hear me? >> surely can. >> and you see me this time? >> we can now see you, yes. >> okay. well, thank you, mr. chairman. and this is such an important
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hearing. i agree with many of the statements my colleagues have had, that this hearing didn't need to talk place at this moment, that the important discussion about how we keep a thriving internet economy and how we continue to make sure that hate speech and misinformation is taken down from the web is something that would probably better have been done in january than now. but here we are today, and we've heard some astound thing things that i definitely -- astound thing things that i definitely must refute. first of all, i'm not going to take lightly anybody who tries to undermine mail-in voting. mail-in voting in the united states of america is safe. the state of washington, the state of oregon have been doing it for years. there is nothing wrong with our mail-in system. so i think that there'll be secretaries of state, there'll be our law enforcement agencies who have worked hard with state election officials and others who will be talking about how this process works and how we're going to fight to protect it. i'm also going to not demean an
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organization just because they happen to be headquartered in the state of washington or to business there. that somebody claims just because of the gee ography of a company somehow makes it uber-political for one side of the aisle or another, i seriously doubt. i know that because i see many of you come into the state washington for republican fundraisers with these officials. i know you know darn well that there are plenty of republicans that work in high-tech firms. so the notion that i somehow these people are crossing the aisle because of something and creating censorship, the notion that free speech is about the ability to say things, it doesn't take -- maybe we need to have a history lesson from high school again. but, yes, free speech means that people can make outrageous statements about their beliefs. so i think that the ceos are telling us here what their process is for taking down health care information that's, in fact, that's not true, that
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is a threat to the public and information that is a threat to our democracy. that is what they're talking about. so i want to make it clear that this hearing could have happened at a later date, and i don't appreciate the misinformation that is coming across today that is trying to undermine our election process. it is safe, it is the backbone of what distinguishes america if other countries in the world. we do know how to have a safe and fair election. and one of the ways that we're doing that is to have these individuals work with our law enforcement entities, my colleague, gary peters, made it very clear they've successfully helped stop a threat on the governor of michigan. and why? because they were working with them to make sure that information was passed on. so this is what we're talking about. we're talking about whether we're going to be on the side of freedom and information and whether we're going to put our shoulder to the wheel to continue to make sure that
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engine is there or whether we're going to prematurely try to get rid of 230 and squash free speech. and so i want to make sure that we continue to move forward. so, mr. zuckerberg, i'd like to turn to you because there was a time where there was great concern about what happened in myanmar about the government using information against a muslim minority. and you took action a and reformed the system. and just recently, in september, facebook and twitter announced they had suspended network accounts linked to various organizations and for use of techniques laundering russian-backed web site accounts and divisive propaganda. so we associated with state-run attempts to interfere in our election. could you please, mr. zuckerberg, talk about what you are doing to make sure statewide entities don't interfere in u.s. elections. >> yes. thank you, senator.
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since 2016 we have been building up some very sophisticated systems to make sure that we can stop foreign interference in elections. not just in the u.s., but all around the world. and a lot of this involves building up a.i. systems to identify when clusters of accounts respect behaving in the way the normal person would, they're behaving as bank accounts in some coordinated way. but a lot of this is also about forming partnerships. the tech companies here today work more closely together to share signals about what's happening on the different platforms to be able to combat these threats. as well as working more closely with law enforcement and intelligence communities around the world. and the net result of that is that over the last few years we've taken down more than a hundred networks that were potentially attempting to spread misinformation or interfere. a lot of them were coming from russia or iran, a growing number
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from china as well. and at this point, i'm proud that our company and as well as the others in the industry, i think, have built systems that are very effective at this. finish we can't stop countries like russia from trying to interfere in an election. only the u.s. government can really push back with the appropriate leverage to do that. but we have built up systems to make sure that we can identify much faster when they're attempting to do that. and i think that that should give the american people a good amount of confidence leading into this election. >> and is it true that those entities are trying to find domestic sources to help with that misinformation? >> senator, yes. the tactics of these different governments are certainly evolving including trying to find people outside of their country and in some cases we're
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seeing domestic interference operations as well. and the systems have had to evolve to be able to identify and take those down as well. of the hundred or so networks that i just cited that we took down, about half were domestic operations at this point, and that's in various countries around the world, not primarily in the u.s.. but this is a global phenomenon that we need to make sure that we continue pushing forward aggressively on. >> thank you. thank you. mr. pichai, i'd like to turn to you for a second because i do want information from facebook on this point too, but i'd like to turn to you. there's information now from media organizations that it may be as much as 30-50% of google ad revenue that broadcasters and newsprint are losing somewhere between 30-50% of their revenue that they could be getting to
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newspapers and broadcasting, losing it to the formats that google has as it relates to their platform and ad information. can you confirm what information you have about this, and do you think that google is taking ad revenue from these news sources in an unfair way? >> senator, it's an important topic. it's a complex topic. i do think journalism, as you rightfully have called attention to it, particularly local journalism, is very important. it's been a disrupting force, and the pandemic has exacerbated it. as google, i would make the case that we believe in raising news across our product because we we realize the importance of journalism. we send a lot of traffic to news publishers. all the ad technology questions i'm getting asked today, we share a majority of revenue back to publishers. we are investing in subscription products. we have committed $2 billion in
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new licensing over the next three years to news organizations. we have set up local emergency funds through covid for local journalistic distributions. i took plenty of examples, but the underlying forces which are impacting the industry, which is the internet and -- [inaudible] >> . >> i don't have a clock. >> minute 1/2. stuart: you have been watching three executives, top executives at, we got google. we've got facebook, and we've got twitter. they have been aged the gun, not harshly questioned by questioned about political bias. all three stocks are down more than the overall market. we do have the selloff in the overall market. at one point we were down 800 points. now we're down 660. the selloff is still in place. why the selloff?
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first thing this morning the europeans started imposing much more strict restrictions on movement and travel and business because of the virus outbreak. the concern that comes here, slowing down our economic recovery. the market plunged right from the get-go. now we do have some winners i think -- let me go to big tech because that is important, always important. they're all down. apple's off, amazon's down, facebook is down, microsoft is down even though it had a pretty good report yesterday. i don't know why it is down so much. susan: guidance is week. with everything else goes down with broad selloff. we're recovering from the near 900 point loss we saw just about an hour ago. so there is bargain hunting. there is money on the sidelines thinks maybe it is time to buy on some of the dips. stuart: some buying of dips as we can see right now. we're down 675, about 2 1/2%.
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would i like to see some winners. there are some winners. here we go. travelers up 2 1/2%. microsoft what happened there? is that microsoft? that ain't right, get rid of that. susan: microsoft down 3 1/2%. >> it is not up. get rid of some of those stocks because they ain't right but i can tell you general electric was higher earlier today. it had a pretty good earnings report. susan: lost less money. stuart: they're up 9%. how about that? there are other stocks which are winners. notably netflix, that has gone up. if we get more restrictions on work and travel here that is good for the netflix of this world. they are up a quarter of a percent. teledock, we'll use telemedicine more. we like chewy. susan: teledoc theme for pets. that is what they're launching.
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telehealth for cut furry animals. >> we have red ink all across the board. i will leave you with this, the dow is down just under 700 points. the nasdaq is down 31points. thatthat 318 points. that is significant selloff. chewy, a winner. my time is up. neil. it yours. neil: my dogs love chewy. they order themselves but kind of tough with the paws. they're in the break, as stuart was telling you in the senate commerce committee with richest guys on the planet. jack dorsey from twitter, suck mark zuckerberg from facebook and sundar pichai, about $125 billion in wealth. mostly mr. zuckerberg with his 111 billion-dollar


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