How the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook plan to defend Big Tech today

barack obama

Ahead of the antitrust hearing that’s due to take place later today, the opening statements from the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook have been published on the House Judiciary Committee’s website. Ranging in length from four to eight pages, the statements give us our best look yet at how Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg plan to defend their companies from this latest wave of antitrust scrutiny, and accusations that some of their actions harm consumers and stifle competition.

There are a lot of similarities between the four statements which you can read in their entirety here:

For example, they all make appeals to American patriotism (“The rest of the world would love even the tiniest sip of the elixir we have here in the U.S,” Bezos claims), and talk about the benefits their products offer to consumers, as well as small businesses. All four

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The CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are set to testify before Congress in a historic antitrust hearing next week. Here’s what’s at stake for each company.

From left to right, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Tim Cook, and Jeff Bezos.
From left to right, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Tim Cook, and Jeff Bezos.

Getty/Carsten Koall/Michael Kovac/Business Insider composite

  • The tech CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook will appear before Congress in a first-of-its-kind hearing on Wednesday.

  • They’ll be testifying as part of an antitrust investigation into the dominance of digital platforms that has been running since last June. The CEOs, who will likely appear remotely over video, will have to defend the growing power of their tech companies to skeptical lawmakers.

  • Here’s why each CEO has been asked to appear, the types of questions they will likely be asked, and how the day might play out.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The CEOs of four tech giants will appear before Congress next week, where they’ll have to defend their companies’ growing power to skeptical lawmakers.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg,

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Inside Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google versus the Feds

Sometime very soon, four of the most powerful men on the planet will face off against a small congressional subcommittee. 

The stakes couldn’t be higher. 

Yes tech execs are called into D.C. regularly these days, but this time is different. These are the CEOs of the four mega-tech companies, starting with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, who’s never appeared before Congress. He’ll be joined by two other iconic personages: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (world’s fourth richest, worth $88 billion), and Apple’s Tim Cook. The fourth member of the quartet, Alphabet’s (Google’s) Sundar Pichai has a lower profile but carries no less weight.

Even more than all of that though, this hearing could mark a new beginning in the tug and pull between big business and society in America—for better or for worse. 

“This is the end of a one-year investigation where we’ve looked at these big tech platforms

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Are Facebook and Alexa really listening? 6 common tech myths debunked

We once believed that Macs would never get a virus, closing apps would save battery life, and private mode was really private.

For the record, switching to incognito in your browser probably doesn’t do what you think. Tap or click for six practical reasons to use it, from keeping your search autofill clean to shopping without spoiling the surprise.

And I’m sorry to break it to you, but like a Windows PC, your Mac is certainly at risk. Tap or click for five free downloads that will keep your Mac or PC secure. This recommendation is one you can’t afford to ignore.

Call me your digital life myth-buster with six misconceptions you can stop believing.

1. You can’t be tracked if GPS is off

Even if you turn off location tracking on your phone, you can still be tracked. Smartphones continuously check in with cell phone towers. Using this data,

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Facebook fails to control hate speech. Will an advertiser boycott change anything?

Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, was not all that optimistic in advance of the online meeting that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg had set up with him and the heads of other civil rights groups last Tuesday.

Many of them had been talking to Facebook about its tolerance of hate groups and racist and anti-Semitic postings on the giant social media company’s website.

They had submitted 10 recommendations they said could result immediately in “real progress.” Facebook had stated that it takes “a zero tolerance approach” to hateful posts on its services by removing them.

We’re talking about literally the most sophisticated advertising platform in the history of capitalism. The idea that they can’t find the Nazis on their platform is just laughable.

Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League

Yet the very morning of the meeting, ADL’s researchers turned up a posting

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Facebook has failed to control hate speech. Will advertiser demands change anything?

Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, was not all that optimistic in advance of the online meeting that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg had set up with him and the heads of other civil rights groups last Tuesday.

Many of them had been talking to Facebook about its tolerance of hate groups and racist and anti-Semitic postings on the giant social media company’s website.

They had submitted 10 recommendations they said could result immediately in “real progress.” Facebook had stated that it takes “a zero tolerance approach” to hateful posts on its services by removing them.

We’re talking about literally the most sophisticated advertising platform in the history of capitalism. The idea that they can’t find the Nazis on their platform is just laughable.

Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League

Yet the very morning of the meeting, ADL’s researchers turned up a posting

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Will the Facebook advertising boycott force the social media giant to change? Not likely

Hundreds of advertisers say they won’t spend money on Facebook in July or beyond over concerns the social media company isn’t doing enough to stop hate speech.  But the exodus of spenders may not be enough to push CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make the level of change that critics are demanding. 

Critics have an initial list of 10 recommendations that they say would help Facebook corral hate speech and make civil rights a priority when moderating content.

Zuckerberg and top executives, who have agreed to meet with the civil rights groups behind the Stop Hate for Profit boycott this week, plan to release the company’s third civil rights audit, which Facebook says will address many of the activists’ concerns, as well as other policy changes that were already under consideration.

The pressure on Facebook seems intense, but it may not be as powerful as the headlines make it appear.

Brands

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Done with Facebook? Consider MeWe, Parler or old standbys such as LinkedIn

MeWe is a social network that says it has no ads, spyware, targeting, political bias, or newsfeed manipulation. In other words, it bills itself as the “anti” Facebook. 

Parler is a social media app with one point of view: conservative. It’s a place for folks who don’t like the spin at Facebook, or as it describes itself, “free expression without violence and a lack of censorship.”

So maybe, like Coca-Cola, Unilver, Starbucks and other corporations, you’ve had it with Facebook and its policies about either not curbing hate speech, or if you’re on the other side of the aisle, censoring free thought. 

Where to go? We have some ideas for you. 

MeWe bills itself as the "anti-Facebook."
MeWe bills itself as the “anti-Facebook.”

Controversy: Trump’s Twitch channel suspended, and Reddit bans pro-Trump online group

Social: Facebook, social media under more pressure from brands over hate speech

LinkedIn

Yes, that network that for years was thought of

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U.S. Senate committee approves anti-child porn bill after addressing Google, Facebook encryption concerns

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to approve a bill aimed at ending the spread of online child sexual abuse material after attempting to address concerns from U.S. tech companies that the proposed law goes too far to weaken privacy protections for ordinary users.

Tech companies such as Facebook and Alphabet’s Google feared The Eliminating Abuse and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2019, or EARN IT Act, would hurt their ability to offer protections like end-to-end encryption, a technology critical to the privacy of internet users .

On Wednesday, Committee Chairman and lead sponsor Senator Lindsey Graham proposed an amendment in an effort to assuage concerns from the industry, which continued to oppose the bill.

“I’m not trying to stop companies from encrypting their products. … I’m trying to make them harden their products against sexual exploitation,” Graham said at the hearing

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U.S. senator to change anti-child porn bill over Google, Facebook encryption concerns

By Nandita Bose

(Reuters) – U.S. legislation aimed at stopping online child sexual abuse material is likely to be amended to address concerns of platforms like Google and Facebook that the proposed law goes too far to weaken privacy protections for ordinary users, according to a draft of the bill seen by Reuters.

Tech companies, currently protected from lawsuits over content posted by users, feared the original bill would hurt their ability to offer protections like end-to-end encryption. That technology scrambles messages so they can be deciphered only by the sender and intended recipient, a feature critical to the online privacy of billions of people.

In a new draft authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, The Eliminating Abuse and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2019, or EARN IT Act, makes compliance with a set of controversial “best practices” voluntary instead of mandatory for companies such as

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